Selective Licencing in Luton

Luton Borough Council (LBC) have introduced a Selective Licensing Scheme across 5 areas of Luton. From the 1st May 2020 every landlord letting residential accommodation within the designated areas can apply for a licence.

It will be a criminal offence for a landlord to let a property in a designated area without a licence.

We will be holding a webinars to answer any questions you may have at the following times:

We are hoping a member of the Selective Licensing team from Luton Borough Council will also be in attendance.

Further Information

You can find out more about this Selective Licensing Scheme and the reasons why it has been introduced by clicking here.

The areas affected are:

  • Farley Ward – excluding Stockwood Park, Golf Course and Farley Council Estate
  • High Town Ward – excluding Wardown Park, Popes Meadow, Peoples Park and Bell Close Park
  • South Ward – excluding Capability Green, Gipsy Lane Retail Park and Manor Road Park
  • Dallow Ward
  • Biscot Ward
How much will it cost?

The council have not yet released the fee payable, as soon as they do we will update this web page and hope the fee will be made clear before we run our webinars.

In addition to the application form the following documents will also be required to obtain a licence:

  • Tenancy Agreement Available upon request
  • Current Gas Safety Certificate Available upon request
  • Energy Performance Certificate Available upon request
  • We expect an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will also be required. Available via ourselves for £187.50 plus VAT Order Here

We can assist in providing you with the paperwork required to complete the application, but are not able to make the application on your behalf.

We understand that this new requirement will create an administrative burden for landlords. Please be assured we are making every effort to work with the Council to try and make this process as simple as possible.

The council have currently stated a licence can be applied for from 1st May 2020, we don’t currently know when landlords must hold the licence from.

The area covers the following wards:
  • The whole of Biscot and DallowBiscot and Dallow
  • parts of South, Farley and High Town
A detailed map is available on this web page, the council have provided a document that includes the map here

  • A copy of the current gas safety certificate (if applicable)
  • A copy of the tenancy agreement
  • A copy of the energy performance certificate

We recommend the landlord of the property must apply and hold the licence. The council have specific Fit and Proper person requirements for each licence holder. Whilst we may see some agents acting as the Fit and Proper person we believe this exposes landlords to unnecessary risk and cost.

Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004 gives powers to councils to designate areas, or the whole of the area within their district, as subject to selective licensing (requiring every privately rented residential property to be licensed) provided certain conditions are met:

the area is experiencing low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area) and we are satisfied that making a designation will, when combined with other measures contribute to an improvement in the social or economic conditions in the area.

OR

The area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour and that some or all private sector landlords in the area are not taking appropriate action to combat the problem that it would be appropriate for them to take; and the making of a designation, when combined with other measures taken by us, or by us in conjunction with others, will lead to a reduction in, or elimination of, the problem.

OR any of the following conditions:

That the area contains a high proportion of properties in the private rented sector, in relation to the total number of properties in the area.

That the properties above are occupied either under assured tenancies or licences to occupy.

AND

That having carried out a review of housing conditions we consider a significant number of properties should be inspected, with a view to enforcement; making a designation will contribute to an improvement in general housing conditions.

OR

The area is experiencing an influx of migration; a significant number of the properties are occupied by those migrants; making a designation will contribute to the improvement of social or economic conditions in the area and ensuring that the properties are properly managed and overcrowding is prevented.

OR

That the area is suffering from a high level of deprivation and that making a designation will contribute to a reduction in the level of deprivation.

OR

That the area suffers from a high level of crime; the criminal activity affects those living in the premises or other households or businesses in the area; making a designation will contribute to a reduction in the level of crime

The council say the scheme has been introduced due to:
  • The high proportion of properties in the private rented sector in the town
  • Increasing levels of private sector housing enforcement activity
  • The area experiencing an influx of migration
  • the area suffering from a high level of deprivation

The scheme will provide the following benefits for all:
  • A higher standard of management from both landlords and agents
  • Reduced overcrowding
  • Improved housing conditions
  • Improved image and perception of the area
  • Greater ability of landlords to deal with rogue tenants
  • Reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour
  • Better waste management
  • More settled communities
  • Mixed and vibrant community that people enjoy living in
  • Improved health and wellbeing of tenants

It will be a criminal offence for a landlord to let a property in the designated selective licensing areas without holding a licence. There are a range of sanctions that could be applied. These are:
  • prosecution in the magistrates court and an unlimited fine for failure to apply for a licence
  • the imposition of a civil penalty
  • if we’re unable to grant a licence or a licence is revoked, we have the power to make an interim management order (IMO), which will transfer the management of the property to us
  • the landlord will be unable to use section 21 to regain possession of their property
  • for any period where an unlicensed property is rented, an application can be made to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a rent repayment order of up to 12 months

For landlord clients of Lenwell we will provide a link for an online application. Currently we can only assist clients of Lenwell to apply for a licence. If you self manage or use another agent and would like us to take over managing your property please contact us at luton@lenwell.com

We will be holding a number of webinars, you can access them here:

Alternatively if you have specific questions please contact our Luton office on 01582 61 62 63 or email us at luton@lenwell.com

Award Winning
Safe Agent
Tenancy Deposit Scheme Member
Association of Residential Letting Agents
National Association of Estate Agents
ISO9000 Registration
Award Winning