A selective licence needs to be applied when a property becomes tenanted and not before.
Apply for a selective licenseApply for a selective license
A Variation on a Licence
If you need to change your licensing details, you can apply for a variation on licence here.
What is a Selective licence?
Selective Licensing is a new licensing scheme for landlords with properties that meet the criteria within a specific area of Nottingham City Council’s boundaries.
Licenses are for each property. A property could fall under Selective Licensing if there are:
- One or more occupants forming one household (e.g. a family or a single individual) or;
- Two unrelated individuals who form two households (e.g. two friends)
The Selective scheme went live in Nottingham on Wednesday the 1st of August 2018. The scheme will run for five years. Nottingham City Council may renew it.
Selective Licensing was first introduced in April 2006 and schemes are in operation across the country in councils such as Manchester, Sheffield, Rotherham, Leeds, Bristol and numerous London boroughs.
There is also two other property licensing schemes in Nottingham affecting HMOs, Additional Licensing and Mandatory Licensing. If your property does not require a Selective License it may still require one of these types of licenses. If your property is already licensed under one of these schemes, it will not be required to be licensed under selective at the same time.
More information is available below, note especially the “Does my property require a licence?” section and the “Selective Licensing Handbook” under the “Resources and good practice guides”.
Why is Selective licensing needed?
The Council is concerned about poor standards in the city’s private rented sector has received over 4,500 complaints in the last four years about problems ranging from dangerous electrical wiring, cockroach infestations and lack of windows to smoke alarms not working and lack of safe escape.
The Council has also collected evidence which suggests that too many people in Nottingham are paying rent on private properties which are not safe or of a decent standard. A report to the Council’s Executive Board on 22nd November 2016 also highlighted that poorly managed and maintained properties in areas with a high proportion of private rented housing are contributing to higher levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in those neighbourhoods.
The Selective Licensing scheme went live on August 1st 2018 with applications being accepted from July 1st 2018. It has been brought in to combat the problems outlined above. This was done following a rigorous proposal process and public consultation with tenants, residents, landlords and other interested parties.
What licensing means for Tenants
If someone rents a home in Nottingham City the landlord probably needs a license.
Tenants in Nottingham should only be renting from a landlord who has a license for the property, or who has applied for one. If you become of aware of an unlicensed property that’s being rented out then you can report it.
If a tenant is already living somewhere, and there is no license, and no application has been made for one, then they may be able to claim rent back from their landlord.
Are there any exemptions?
If you are in the process of selling your property and it falls within the designated area you can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN).
You can only make an application if you are the owner or person in control of the property.
A temporary exemption notice lasts for three months. You can renew for an extra three months in special circumstances. If the property still needs a licence after this period, you must apply for a property licence straight away.
For more information on temporary exemptions please view the document below.
Does my property require a licence?
The new Selective Licensing scheme does not cover all areas of the city. It’s estimated to cover over 30,000 privately rented homes in a designated area. It's really important that you check if your property is in a designated area.
Some properties, such as those managed by Housing Associations and Nottingham City Homes properties are exempt from licensing.
Fees and Discounts
|Fees for Selective Licensing||Fee||Description|
1st payment £460
|For non-accredited landlords|
|Fee for accredited properties||
1st payment £360
|The proposed licence holder is accredited with the Nottingham Standard (either Unipol or DASH)|
The Council will only give a refund if:
- a duplicate application has been made
- an application has been made for an exempted property by mistake
In addition to the two refund reasons stated we have recognised that awareness of the selective licensing application process takes time for landlords to become familiar with.
Therefore, we have introduced a temporary change to our refund policy where a full or partial refund may be allowed in certain circumstances. This only applies to selective licence applications made up to 31st January 2019.
Requests for refunds received after 31st January 2019 will not be considered. Further details of this temporary arrangement can be found by clicking on the link below.
Many property owners already deliver good quality and well-managed homes and have gained Nottingham Standard accreditation via DASH or UNIPOL.
Landlords are still encouraged to apply for the “Nottingham Standard” and the many benefits it brings via DASH or Unipol, but after this date, they won’t be able to benefit from a discount on the licence fee.
The Council believes that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent. The Council recognises that some landlords may choose to do this. The Council has worked hard to offer lower fees to accredited landlords, with savings of £300 on the licence applications fee.
If landlords do increase rents, this should be following the correct, legal procedures and should not exploit this opportunity. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.
A paper application carries the additional cost of £100 due to the additional administration costs and processing time required and one can be requested by emailing email@example.com or calling the contact centre on 0115 876 1331
This £100 is split into £35 for the form to be sent out and the remaining £65 is paid with the first part of application fee when the form is returned completed to us.
What if I don't licence my property?
It is against the law for any landlord to rent out a property in designated Selective Licencing areas without a licence. We will work with other partner agencies across Nottingham to find unlicensed properties and take legal action.
Resources and good practice guides
- Selective Licensing FAQs Updated
- Final Licence Conditions June 2018
- Nottingham Integrated Housing Stock Modelling Report
- Selective Licencing Handbook Revised July 2018
- ASB Guidance for Landlords
- Public Notice for Designation of an Area for Selective Licensing
- Civil Penalties Enforcement Guidance
- Housing Enforcement and Compliance Policy & Guidance
- Public Register of licences
- Temporary Exemption Request Form
- Redacted public register up to March 2019
- How to let by GOV.UK
The Building Research Establishment Private Sector Housing stock survey for the City of Nottingham is now available on Nottingham insight and can be accessed here.
I have a lot of properties to licence
Following legal advice, where there is a genuine difficulty for landlords in being able to apply in time due to the number of properties, the council is proposing to allow landlords with more than 30 properties and agents with more than 120 properties to apply over 3 months.
This is only in agreement with the council and is subject to the council receiving a full list of all properties and timescales of when the applications will be submitted. Anything other than this will be considered only in exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis.
Landlords prosecuted under new licensing schemes
There were 11 prosecutions in total between 2016 to 2018 with fines totalling £68,887.
Accreditation lasts for 3 years under the Nottingham Standard (Unipol or DASH).
Landlords who claimed a discount on their licence fee as a result of being accredited must maintain their accreditation for the duration for their licence or return the discount/pay the difference between the lower and standard fee if it lapses.
You have a right to request any recorded information held by Nottingham City Council that is not personal information about yourself. Further information on how to make an FOI request can be found here.
Selective Licensing Team: 0115 876 1331, lines are open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm