Selective licensing in the Union Road area ended in November 2013. Landlords who rent out properties in this area no longer require a licence.

What is Selective Licensing?

The Housing Act 2004 gave Bolton Council the power to introduce the licensing of private rented houses/flats within designated areas. The aim of Selective Licensing is to improve the management and conditions of the properties, ensuring they have a positive impact on the area and tackle problems such as anti-social behaviour.

Why introduce Selective Licensing?

Most landlords provide decent well-managed and maintained accommodation, and follow good management practices enabling them to run successful tenancies which do not cause any problems for the local community.

However, in some circumstances anti-social behaviour, vandalism and poor management of properties can severely impact on the community of that area. The Housing Act 2004 states that an area may be designated for Selective Licensing if it meets one of the following conditions:

  • it is or is likely to become an area of low housing demand
  • it is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour

The changes in the law mean that Bolton Council can introduce Selective Licensing where licensing would be of benefit to the local community and will ensure that management standards in the private rented sector are regulated.

What does Selective Licensing mean for you?

  • reduction and tackling anti-social behaviour
  • support and training for private landlords
  • provision of better housing and management standards
  • improved image and perception of the area
  • a positive economic future for the local community and local businesses

Who needs a licence?

All privately rented properties in the designated area will be required to be licensed. A licensee can be the owner or a managing agent designated as an appropriate person. This does not apply to:

  • registered social landlord or local authority properties
  • tenancies under certain long-term lease
  • business tenancies
  • properties that the Council have taken action to close down or those with a temporary exemption notice in force
  • a property which is a house in a multiple occupation (HMO) and is already licensed under part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 (HMO’s that are 3 storeys high and have 5 or more tenants who are from 2 or more households)

To obtain a licence the landlord or agent must:

  • complete the relevant application form and pay a fee
  • hold a current annual gas safety certificate for the premises (if gas supply)
  • hold a satisfactory Periodic Inspection Report for the electrical installation
  • ensure any provision of furniture complies with the Furniture Furnishings (fire) (safety) Regulations 1993
  • fit and maintain smoke alarms as necessary
  • issue tenants with a written tenancy agreement that includes terms and conditions regarding nuisance and anti-social behaviour
  • take ‘reasonable and practicable steps’ to prevent or reduce anti-social behaviour
  • obtain references for prospective tenants
  • carry out repairs and other legal responsibilities in a reasonable time
  • give their contact details to tenants

What if I do not get a licence?

It is a criminal offence to rent a property in a designated Selective Licensing area without applying for a licence. The landlord could be fined on conviction, up to £20,000. If the Council is unable to grant a licence, or choose to revoke a licence for breach of the conditions, there are other financial penalties and alternative management arrangements may be enforced.

Housing Standards

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Castle Hill Centre

Castleton Street



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