Social housing

Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme

Selective licensing is a scheme which aims to improve the standards of property management in the private rental sector.

Under the Housing Act 2004, Part 3 (Selective Licensing of other Residential Accommodation), all private landlords operating within the designated area are required to obtain a license from the council for each property which is rented out. The conditions of the license ensure that the property is managed effectively, and license holders will have to demonstrate their compliance.

When applying, proposed license holders and managers will be required to prove that they are 'fit and proper persons' to hold a license, and that they have satisfactory management arrangements in place, including for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

When deciding whether a landlord and/or managing agent is 'fit and proper' the council will look at whether they have ever:

  • discriminated illegally against anyone
  • breached laws relating to renting property
  • committed any serious criminal offences (fraud, violence, drugs, or sexual offences)

A license is valid for a maximum of 5 years. Failing to apply for a license could lead to prosecution and an unlimited fine. If prosecuted, this would lead to the license holder no longer being classed as 'fit and proper'.

The Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme currently runs in an area of North Ormesby, to help improve social and economic conditions. Evidence shows that significant and persistent anti-social behaviour and low housing demand are linked to the private rental sector in North Ormesby.

View a map of the area covered by the scheme (PDF).

Anyone who manages or controls residential property in the designated area, which is rented out privately, needs a license.

A license isn't needed if:
  • the property is unoccupied
  • the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which must be licensed under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004
  • the property is occupied by the owner

  • a temporary exemption notice (TEN) is in force
    Apply for a Temporary Exemption Notice

Read more about Selective Licensing exemption regulations.

License applications can be made online. Complete the online Selective Landlord Licensing application.

Please note, there is a fee of £580 to pay for each rented property.

If a license holder needs to alter the terms of their license, for example there is a change of manager or occupancy levels, they can apply for a variation to the license. Please submit your request, with reasons, to Variation applications are free.

Applicants should read the guide to making a license application (PDF) before completing their form.

By law Middlesbrough Council has to keep a register of:

  • licensed properties
  • temporary exemption notices issued (relating to property licensing)
  • management orders

View Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme - licences issued - January 2018

View Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme - exemptions issued - January 2018

The scheme has a number of benefits to the community, landlords, tenants, and owners, including:

  • improving the management and condition of privately rented accommodation
  • support for landlords dealing with anti-social tenants
  • reduced levels of anti-social behaviour
  • educating tenants about their responsibilities and the impact of their behaviour on their community and neighbours
  • encouraging tenants to recognise when properties are of a sub-standard condition and what options are available to them
  • improving the image and desirability of the area
  • protecting investment in the area
  • encouraging landlords not to take tenants with a poor reference

The council will inspect all privately rented properties within the designated area. The inspection programme will check for compliance with Selective Licensing conditions.

Both inspections and follow-up actions will be led by a multi-agency team which may include Environmental Health Officers, Selective Licensing Officers, Neighbourhood Safety Officers, Early Help Practitioners, and members of the fire service and police.

This approach ensures that as well as checking compliance with the license conditions, landlords and tenants are helped and supported with any issues they're facing. These may include unemployment; anti-social behaviour; lack of independent living skills; tenancy management; health issues; lack of parenting skills, or substance misuse. The team will make referrals to relevant agencies and follow up any actions to ensure as much support as possible is given to the tenant and landlord.

View tips on preparing your property for inspection (PDF)

Anti-social behaviour

Landlord professional associations


SLL application

Alongside your SLL application, you'll need to provide the following documents for each property you're renting out:

  • Electrical appliance and furniture safety declaration
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • 'How to Rent' guide which will be issued to tenant(s)
  • Valid gas safety certificate
  • Valid tenancy agreement

Support for tenants and families

The policies and procedures that will be applied for the purpose of operating the scheme have been set out in the Selective Landlord Licensing policy document (PDF).

View the public notice which relates to the designation area (PDF).

For more information about the Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme, please contact:

Selective Licensing
Phone: 01642 728100
North Ormesby Hub
Derwent Street
North Ormesby