Selective Licensing

Nottingham City Council has introduced a new licensing scheme, which will mean landlords in most areas of the city will have to obtain a licence for each property they rent out to ensure it meets safety and quality standards.

Additional licensing applies to HMOs, shared houses and flats that have 3 or 4 occupants who form 2 or more households.

HMOs are no longer included in additional licensing, however the individual flats within them will need a selective license if privately rented.

*A licence will last up to 5 years and one licence will be required for each private rented property, not each landlord. Landlords and property managers (person receiving the rent) need to apply for a licence, not tenants.

This handbook has been created to help guide landlords and letting agents through the Selective Licensing process.

Why is Selective Licensing needed?

The council has 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. In this video, Steve Matthews, Principal Environmental Health Officer, describes common problems with conditions in private rented properties and how Selective Licensing will help to drive up standards.

When will it start?

The scheme has been accepting applications sine July 2018.

It is the responsibility of the person who has control of the property (usually the person who receives the rent for the property) to apply to the council for a licence. This can be the owner or manager. 

You will need the following before applying

Proof of right to reside (to live) in the UK                          
Proof of right to live in the UK for the proposed licence holder and the proposed manager where these are people; if the proposed licence holder or manager is a company then this will not need to be provided. Click here to find out what we accept

Gas Safety Certificate                                                                    
A valid, in date, satisfactory certificate is required if gas appliances are in the property. More information can be found on the following link: www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
To find out about an EPC and how to get one please go to  www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates

Evidence of landlord insurance for the property – this includes public liability insurance
If this is not provided it will be added as a licence condition.

You may also need to provide the following if relevant

  • Emergency Escape Lighting Test Certificate (if this is present in the property)
  • Fire Alarm Test Certificate where there is a fire alarm control panel
  • Most recent portable appliance test (PAT) certificate (If portable appliances are provided by the landlords)
  • Building regulations completion certificate and planning consents (If applicable)
  • Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken) by proposed licence holder
  • Written Fire Safety Risk Assessment (If applicable)
  • Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken) - for example the DASH online Landlord Development course   or EMPO Professional Training for Property Professionals

More information on these requirement's are available here

We have prepared a number of draft example licences to show the questions that are on the online application form. These can be downloaded below.

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 of time, 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 selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

For more information on temporary exemptions please view the document below.

Temporary Exemption from Licensing 

Please see details of statutory exemptions here


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 is within the Selective Licensing area?

Some properties, such as those managed by Housing Associations and Nottingham City Homes properties are exempt from licensing.

Licences will cost landlords with Nottingham Standard accreditation £480 or £780 if you haven’t got accreditation.

Fees and Discounts

Table 2: Fees for Selective Licensing




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

A number of property owners already deliver good quality and well managed homes and have gained Nottingham Standard accreditation via DASH or UNIPOL. We cannot exempt them from the scheme, but because this makes the task of licensing these properties easier, we have offered a discount for those accredited.

To receive the discount, landlords who have tenanted properties needed to already be accredited via the Nottingham Standard, or have applied to become accredited before 31 July 2018. Landlords are still encouraged to apply for the “Nottingham Standard” and the many benefits it brings via DASH or Unipol, but after this date they won’t be able to benefit from a discount on the licence fee.

Landlords will need to have become FULLY accredited by the time the second payment for licensing is taken. 

More information on accreditation is available from DASH or UNIPOL

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


 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. 

Updates can be found on our social channels: @mynottingham, @nottmrenters

Email: selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Landlord Forum 6th November 2018

Following legal advice, where there is genuine difficulty for landlords in being able to submit an application in time due to the number of properties, the council is proposing to allow landlords with more than 30 properties and agents with more than 120 properties to apply over 3 months. 

This is only in agreement with the council and is subject to the council receiving a full list of the 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. 

Why the Scheme is needed

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 .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.

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: geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/

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 saferhousing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

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 selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.


If you require any help with you application please contact the team


Telephone: 0115 876 1331

We are committed to ensuring our services are fully accessible to our citizens and will therefore accept completed paper applications. 

 If you require a paper application please telephone the team for further information.

2016/17 - 672

2017/18 – 1098

There were 11 prosecutions in total between 2016-2018 with fines totalling £68,887.

You are free to use any information supplied for your own personal use. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner. If the copyright is owned by Nottingham City Council details of the conditions on reuse can be obtained by contacting this office.

If you are unhappy with the response provided or with the handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review by email: informationrights@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or writing to the

Information Governance Specialist,
Freedom of Information Team,
Legal & Governance,
2nd Floor,
Loxley House,
Station Street,

Your request for an internal review should be made to the council within forty working days of the date of this letter. Please quote reference IG-11179 in all communications.


If you remain unhappy after receiving the response to your initial complaint you can request an independent review from the Information Commissioner's Office at FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution,

Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,

 You may also contact the Information Commissioner's Office by telephone on 01625 545745

Contact Us

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Tel: 0115 876 1331

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