Selective Licensing Consultation 2024

The council recently consulted on proposals to continue selective licensing in the following four areas after the current designations end in October 2024: 

  • Trinity 
  • Queensgate 
  • Gannow 
  • Daneshouse & Stoneyholme 

The council proposed to re-designate the above current designations, and include additional areas adjacent to these boundaries in Trinity, Queensgate and Gannow. The council proposed to keep the Daneshouse & Stoneyholme boundary the same as the current designation.

The council also consulted on proposals to introduce new selective licensing areas in parts of: 

  • Padiham 
  • The Lyndhurst Road Area 

The consultation has now closed. The council is currently analysing the results, which we expect will be published in the autumn.

What is selective licensing?

  • Selective licensing aims to improve management standards in the private rented sector.
  • Owners of properties which are privately let and not exempt will need to apply for a licence for each property in the designated area.
  • In order to obtain a licence, landlords will have to show that they meet the required standard. This includes passing our “Fit and Proper” person and management criteria.
  • Each licence comes with a set of conditions designed to improve the management of privately rented properties. View the proposed conditions.
  • Operating without a licence, or failing to stick to the conditions, is a criminal offence, and could result in prosecution or a financial penalty of up to £30,000.
  • A selective licensing scheme can run for a maximum of five years.
  • There is a fee for each licence application to cover the cost of the application and implementation of the scheme; fees are ringfenced and can only be used to administer the scheme. The council does not make a profit from selective licensing.
  • The selective licensing team wants to support good landlords and agents by raising standards across the borough; selective licensing is a key part of the council’s Housing Strategy.

Why is the council proposing to introduce selective licensing in these areas?

Parts of the borough are suffering from clusters of low demand housing – not enough people are choosing to live in some neighbourhoods which suffer with empty properties, poor housing conditions, low house prices and increasing ASB levels.  There are numerous positive regeneration initiatives ongoing to tackle this low demand, including those that create economic growth. This can assist in improving the demand for housing if we ensure that we have the right quality and type of accommodation to meet demand.

Within these areas of low demand there is a poor private rented sector which exacerbates the problems of low demand and deters people from living or remaining in a neighbourhood. Although there are many good, responsible landlords, the council is aware that some landlords and agents are undermining the reputation of the sector.

Working with landlords, tenants and managing agents we want to improve the sector and the reputation so private renting can become a tenure of choice. Selective licensing is a way of compelling landlords to engage with the council and ensure they have appropriate management standards in place that will enable them to take action against breaches in tenancy agreements before they start to affect the wider community.

For more detailed information on the council’s proposals in each area, read the Statement of Case. Alternatively, you can view a Summary.

Is my property affected?

All privately rented properties within the designation boundary that are not exempt will need a licence. View a list of all properties within the proposed licensing areas. Maps of each proposed area are available below.

Why is the council proposing to change the boundaries for some of the schemes?

The council is continually monitoring the housing stock across the borough. As part of the review of the current licensing areas, the council has investigated which other areas of the borough are experiencing higher than average levels of private renting. From this, we have been able to identify which of these areas also appear to be suffering from, or are at risk of becoming, areas of low demand for housing which may benefit from the introduction of selective licensing. The council has identified additional areas adjacent to the Trinity, Queensgate and Gannow designations, as well as two new areas of Padiham and the Lyndhurst Road area which we believe may benefit from the schemes. The council is not currently proposing to adjust the boundary in Daneshouse & Stoneyholme.

What will selective licensing achieve?

The ideal outcomes of the selective licensing areas are to:

  • Improve the management of private rented homes through training, advice and support to landlords and agents, and where necessary the use of enforcement action
  • Improve the condition of private rented homes through proactive external and internal inspections, advice and support to landlords and enforcement where necessary
  • Reduce antisocial behaviour (ASB)
  • Reduce dirty back yards and fly tipping
  • Bring empty homes back into use working in partnership with the Empty Homes team and property owners

The council is confident that continuing and expanding selective licensing will allow us to build on the progress already made, to tackle poor management of rented homes.

How much will a licence cost?

Landlords will have to make an application for each rented property they own, and they will be charged a fee for each application. The fee covers the cost of implementing and monitoring the scheme, including support and information for landlords. The new proposed fee for those landlords who have previously held a selective licence in Burnley is £670.

The proposed application fee for those landlords who have NOT held a selective licence previously in Burnley is £750.

These fees will be discounted by 30% for landlords accredited under our Good Landlord and Agent Scheme (GLAS).  If the application is received within three months of the scheme starting, £100 will be deducted from the first application fee.

For more detailed fee information, consult our Proposed Fee Structure.

What are the benefits of selective licensing?

Support and professional training to help you manage your propertiesA well managed home with rights protected
Support with tenant referencingImproved living conditions
Advice if tenants breach their tenancy agreements, e.g. help with antisocial behaviourReduced impact of poorly managed properties on neighbouring residents
Updates on changing legislation, initiatives and policies affecting the private rented sectorCheck your landlord is licensed and is meeting the required standard
Opportunity to become accredited with the council and access interest free empty homes loansA dedicated officer working in each area to reduce the negative impacts poorly managed rented properties can have on a neighbourhood
Work with the council to create a level playing field, where rogue landlords and agents with unscrupulous practices will not be able to undercut good landlordsA main point of contact to report issues with privately rented properties in your area
Raise management standards to improve the reputation of the private rented sector and stabilise communities, shortening void periods and reducing tenant turnoverImproved rented properties will help to reduce tenant turnover and contribute to stabilising communities

What are the alternatives?

The council has considered many options to improve the private rented sector, such as:

  • Accreditation – improves relationships between the council and landlords/agents, and does encourage better standards of management, but is voluntary and we cannot compel landlords to join the scheme, meaning we cannot use accreditation to tackle the worst instances of property management.
  • Housing Standards Enforcement – is a legal requirement and enables the council to improve property standards, but is reactive, meaning we rely on complaints from residents in order to put things right. It doesn’t allow us to tackle management practices on a wider scale, and is also resource intensive.
  • Management Orders – takes property out of the hands of bad landlords, but does not tackle long term poor property management, and is also resource and time intensive for a small number of properties.
  • Landlord training days – great for updating landlords and agents on legislation changes and best practice with option to attend online meaning greater flexibility, but we cannot compel the poorest landlords to attend, and there is a limit to how many delegates can attend each course.
  • Empty Homes team – work to tackle the blight of empty properties and improve property condition, but highly resource intensive, tackles individual properties rather than areas and does not improve wider management.

The council believes all of the above are useful tools to improve the private rented sector in Burnley, but only selective licensing allows us to tackle poor property management on a broad scale, promoting best practice and identifying and tackling poor property condition. It also gives us the tools to help tackle ASB. By operating selective licensing in conjunction with the alternatives outlined above, the council has a full range of tools at its disposal to tackle different elements which contribute to low demand for housing.

For more information on the alternatives to selective licensing, view our Statement of Case.

Further Questions?

View our frequently asked questions.

What happens next?

The consultation closed on Friday 14th June 2024. We are now reviewing the results of the consultation and considering all representations received; the results of the consultation and the council’s recommendations will be presented to the Council’s Executive in late summer/early autumn.

If the proposed areas cover more than 20% of the borough, or more than 20% of the private rented stock, the council would then be required to apply to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for confirmation of any designations. Should the schemes be approved, the council is required to notify affected parties three months before any designations come into force.