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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.

Temporary exemption from licensing requirement

This section applies where a person having control of or managing a Part 3 house which is required to be licensed under this Part (see section 85(1)) but is not so licensed, notifies the local housing authority of his intention to take particular steps with a view to securing that the house is no longer required to be licensed.

To apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN), please complete the TEN application form.

Properties exempt from requiring a licence are those that are:

  1. Subject to a Prohibition Order, under Section 20 of the Housing Act 2004, that has not been suspended
  2. Business premises
  3. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) that require a statutory HMO licence
  4. Tenancies for agricultural land/holdings
  5. Controlled by a local housing authority, police authority, fire and rescue authority, or a health service body
  6. Occupied solely by students undertaking a full-time course of further or higher education, and where the person managing or in control of it is the educational establishment
  7. Tenancies granted for more than 21 years and the agreement does not allow the landlord to end the tenancy earlier than the term of the lease (the property must be occupied by the original person who was granted the tenancy or members of their family)
  8. The tenant is a member of the landlord's family. (The house must be the occupier's main residence. The person granting the occupancy must be the freeholder or leaseholder, which is for a period of more than 21 years. This lease must not contain a provision allowing the landlord to end the tenancy earlier than the term of the lease).
  9. Tenancies or licences granted for the occupancy of a holiday home
  10. Accommodation that the occupier shares with the landlord or licensor, or a member of the landlord or licensor's family

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.

Licenses are non-transferable, and fees paid are non-refundable.

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

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 selectivelandlordlicensing@middlesbrough.gov.uk. Variation applications are free.

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 - November 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
  • free Tenancy Referencing Service
  • free advertising of empty properties
  • landlord and tenant support from the Tenancy Relations Officer

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, Tenancy Relations Officer, 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)

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

Anti-social behaviour

Landlord professional associations

Renting

Support for tenants and families

Tenancy Referencing Service

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
EmailSelectiveLandlordLicensing@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Post:
North Ormesby Hub
Derwent Street
North Ormesby
Middlesbrough
TS3 6JB

The selective licensing scheme in the designated area of North Ormesby is showing positive results for landlords, tenants, and the area itself.

Please see our updates: