Homes and property What is selective licensing?


Some types of tenancy are exempt from selective licensing schemes. A property is exempt if it:

  • is managed or controlled by a local housing authority, a police authority, metropolitan police authority, a fire and rescue authority or a health service body
  • is owned by Registered Social Landlords
  • is subject to a current prohibition order
  • is being used for business premises
  • requires another type of licence (for example a Mandatory HMO or Additional licence)
  • has a tenancy for agricultural land/holdings
  • is a holiday home
  • is a property 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
  • is a house occupied by members of the owner's family
  • is occupied by the tenant and landlord or his family
  • is a certain type of student halls of residence
  • is not in a licensable area
  • is not tenanted at the start of designation and remains unoccupied throughout the period of the licence. (As soon as the property is rented out, an application for a licence must be made)
  • has a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) is in force
  • has an Interim or Final Management Order in force under Part 4 of the Act.
  • has a tenancy agreement which has been granted for more than 21 years and where the agreement does not contain a provision allowing the landlord to end the tenancy (other than forfeiture) earlier than the term of the lease. (The house or dwelling must be occupied by the original person who was granted the tenancy or any members of their family)
  • is occupied under an exempt tenancy or licence, as defined in the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006.
  • is already regulated under certain other statutory provisions (Schedule 1 to SI 2006 Number 373)

A ‘member of the family' applies if:

  • the two live as a couple
  • one of them is a relative of the other

A 'relative' means parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin, with 'half-blood' relationships these are treated as whole blood relationships. Step-children are treated as son or daughter.

For full details of exemptions refer to the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006.

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