Selective Licensing

A selective licence needs to be applied when a property becomes tenanted and not before. 

Apply for a selective license

Completing this form should take around 60 minutes.

To complete this form you will need.
  • Proof of right to reside (to live) in the UK 
  • Gas Safety Certificate                                          
  • Energy Performance Certificate 
  • Evidence of landlord insurance for the property (If you do not have evidence of landlord insurance for the property at the time of application then this will be added as a condition on the licence and will need to be supplied within 12 months of the date the licence is granted)

You may also need to provide the following if relevant

  • Emergency Escape Lighting Test Certificate (if present)
  • Fire Alarm Test Certificate 
  • Most recent portable appliance test (PAT) certificate
  • Building regulations completion certificate and planning consents (If applicable)
  • Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken)
  • Written Fire Safety Risk Assessment (If applicable)

Find out more about the documents you require before you apply

Apply 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.

A variation on your licence 

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.

Further Information


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.

If you wish to apply for a temporary exemption, please download, complete and return the Temporary Exemption Request Form to selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

For more information on temporary exemptions please view the document below.

Temporary Exemption from Licensing 

Please see details of statutory exemptions here


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.

Is my rental property within the Selective Licensing area?

Some properties, such as those managed by Housing Associations and Nottingham City Homes properties are exempt from licensing.

Licence fees

Fees and Discounts

Fees for Selective Licensing Fee Description
Standard fee

1st payment £460
2nd payment £320
Total £780

For non-accredited landlords
Fee for accredited properties

1st payment £360
2nd payment £120
Total £480

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

Click here for details of full Table of Fees for Selective Licensing

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.

Click here for Guidance on refunds.

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.

More information on accreditation is available from DASH or UNIPOL

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.

Paper Application 

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 selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk 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.

Landlords with unlicensed rented properties can face a financial penalty notice of up to £30,000 or an unlimited fine from the court.​ You could also have control of your unlicensed properties taken away from you, and be ordered to repay up to 12 months rent to us or your tenants. 

Landlord engagement

Landlord Forum 6th November 2018

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.


Nottingham Standard

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.

Contact us

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.

Email:  selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Selective Licensing Team: 0115 876 1331, lines are open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm