Selective Licensing

Under Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004, a council can introduce a scheme to licence properties within a particular area. This applies to all rented properties in specific areas that have been identified through defined evidence base. This has assessed crime, anti-social behaviour, deprivation and migration to analyse areas that would most benefit from continuous regulation.

We are considering a scheme in four areas within:

See interactive map 


The introduction of Selective Licensing can bring widespread benefits to the local community. In particular, it ensures that all privately rented properties within the designated area are managed to a satisfactory standard. Landlords are made aware of their responsibilities and tenants of their rights.

We consider that the scheme, with other measures, will:

  • reduce health inequalities
  • reduce anti-social behaviour related to the private rented sector
  • improve the social and economic conditions in the area

The scheme will achieve this by:

  • ensuring that landlords are ‘fit and proper persons’
  • requiring and promoting good and fair management of tenancy relations
  • providing support for landlords to tackle anti-social behaviour effectively
  • protecting vulnerable tenants from the worst housing conditions and from irresponsible landlords
  • securing strategic knowledge to support the local authority in targeting health and safety inspections and initiatives
  • supporting landlords to improve the worst properties by helping them to achieve decent minimum standards in housing conditions and management.
  • improving housing management standards and tackling anti-social behaviour within the sector

It may also reduce environmental crime costs, such as street cleaning and tackling fly tipping, and reduce ill-health resulting from poor housing conditions.


We have considered the risks of introducing Selective Licensing. Risks include (but are not limited to):

  • Displacement of irresponsible landlords to other areas
  • Vulnerable individuals being unable to access housing in the area
  • Risk of focusing on enforcement rather than on changing behaviour for both landlords and tenants
  • Risk of increased rents if landlords pass on costs of improvements to tenants

A full risk assessment can be found in Appendix E in the full consultation document, including implications and mitigation. 

We have considered these, and other potential risks, arising from the proposals and have identified actions to mitigate these risks.

Previous consultations

In 2017, BCP Council ran a selective licensing consultation that would have covered Boscombe East, Boscombe West and East Cliff and Springbourne.

Following review of the consultation findings, a decision was made not to progress with the scheme at that time but to develop a targeted enforcement programme to address issues relating to the private rented sector.

Find out more about the 2017 consultation