Selective Licensing

What is a Selective licence?

Selective Licensing is a new licensing scheme for landlords with properties that meet the criteria within Nottingham City 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.
There is also two other property licensing schemes in Nottingham affecting HMOs, Additional Licensing and Mandatory Licensing. If your property does not need a Selective License it may still need one of these types of licenses. If your property is already licensed under one of these schemes, you do not need the Selective Scheme.
More information is available below. Please read our “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. We have received over 4,500 complaints in the last four years about problems ranging from dangerous electrical wiring to smoke alarms not working.
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 highlighted that poorly managed properties in areas with a high proportion of private rented housing are contributing to higher levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
The Selective Licensing scheme went live on August 1st 2018 with applications being accepted from July 1st 2018. The Council is bringing it in to combat the problems outlined above. This was done following a 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


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 

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

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


Click here for Guidance on refunds.

Many property owners already deliver good quality and well-managed homes. They 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. 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
We believe that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent. We recognise that some landlords may choose to do this. We 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 extra cost of £100 due to the more administrative costs and processing time required. One can be requested by emailing or calling the contact centre on 0115 876 1331
This £100 is split into £35 for the form to be sent out. The remaining £65 is paid with the first part of the 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

Landlord Forum 11th July 2019

I have a lot of properties to licence

If there is a genuine difficulty for landlords to apply in time due to the number of properties we can allow landlords more time.
Landlords with over 30 properties and agents with more than 120 properties can 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

Information for tenants

People in Nottingham have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation. The new selective licensing scheme aims to raise housing standards in the private rented sector to provide quality housing for all.

Why the Scheme is needed

Evidence suggests that too many people in Nottingham are paying rent on private properties that are not safe or of a decent standard. A report by the Building Research Establishment (Sept 2016) estimated that 21% of Nottingham’s private rented properties are likely to have ‘Category 1’ hazards including exposed wiring, dangerous boilers, cold bedrooms, leaking roofs, mould or vermin infestation. The full report can be downloaded here.

Landlords who do not apply for a licence or do not meet the required standards may be putting tenants' safety and long term health and wellbeing at risk.

What will it mean for me, if I rent a property in the area enforced by the licence?

  • Selective licensing will improve the management of privately rented properties and contribute positively to improving neighbourhoods
  • Properties may be inspected at some point during the five year scheme. The Council will notify tenants in writing before it does this. The landlord may be required to make improvements to the property after this inspection
  • Homes should be kept safe, secure and in a good state of repair. Tenants may see economic benefits, for example, reduced heating bills as house maintenance and conditions improve
  • The scheme will also help protect vulnerable groups of tenants, who often live in private rented homes, which are poorly managed and maintained

Will the scheme mean landlords will increase rents?

The licence fee will cost landlords £480 if they have Nottingham Standard accreditation and £780 if they haven’t got accreditation. Licences last up to 5 years.

The Council believes that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent. The Council recognises however 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.

Income from the licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and delivering the schemes. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.

When will it start?

The scheme will officially start on 1 August 2018, but we will be accepting applications from landlords from the beginning of July 2018.

Where does the money from the licence fee go?

Income from licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and enforcing the scheme. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.

How can I check if a property is included in the licensing scheme?  

The scheme covers 90% of rented properties in the city. To find out more and check if a property falls within the licence scheme area, please visit:

If you rent a property, which is within the area covered, ask your landlord if they know about the scheme.

It is a legal requirement for landlords to apply for a licence. Failure to do so can lead to financial penalties of up to £30,000 or unlimited fines if prosecuted through the courts.

Where to go for further help and advice

If you have concerns about how a landlord or agent is managing a rented property, please contact

Accessing this information

If you need help to understand this information or if you require any of this information in an alternative format e.g. large print, please contact us at

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.


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

Contact Details

9am to 5pm Monday to Friday