Migration and deprivation – new criteria for selective licensing

Friday, March 27th, 2015 -

New regulations come into force today (27 March 2015) that widen the criteria under which councils can introduce selective licensing.

Until now, councils could only introduce selective licensing in response to concerns about low demand or anti-social behaviour. Whilst those criteria remain as before, councils can now introduce schemes to tackle other criteria as well.

Under the Selective Licensing of Houses (Additional Conditions)(England) Order 2015, councils will have more flexibility to introduce schemes in areas containing a high proportion of private rented homes that are let on assured tenancies or licences. Exactly what ‘high proportion’ means has not been defined although it will require councils to determine the density of private rented accommodation when developing scheme proposals.

In addiiton to the high proportion of private rented homes, councils must also satisfy one of four new criteria around poor housing conditions, migration, deprivation or crime. Whether councils will seek to use these new powers is yet to be seen.