Selective Licensing

Selective Licensing

On 21st September 2017, the Council approved the designation of a Selective Licensing scheme for all privately rented properties within parts of Bootle.

The designation came into effect on 1 March 2018 and will last for a period of 5 years up until 28 February 2023. If your property is within the Selective Licensing area you will need to apply for a Housing Licence before 1st September 2018. Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place

Selective Licensing - applies to all private rented accommodation no matter its description (single family rented houses and flats, converted and purpose-built blocks of flats and all types of HMOs (as defined under Sections 254 and 257 of the Housing Act 2004)……….. but with the exception of those HMOs that meet the ‘prescribed description’ for Mandatory HMO Licensing (please see information below):

You need to read the below information BEFORE applying for either a Selective or Additional (HMO) licence. 

Are you a landlord of a property (house or flat) that: 

Has 5 or more people in occupation, comprising 2 or more households,

AND where those occupants share a basic amenity (such as a kitchen, bathroom or WC) or if any of the occupants have an amenity (that although dedicated to their sole use) is NOT situated actually within their flat. 

If your property meets this description, you will need to apply for a MANDATORY HMO Licence, even if it is situated in the Selective Licensing Area.

Click here to check if a property has a licence


Fit and Proper Person Policy  

Under the Housing Act 2004 is it a requirement that the proposed licence holder and manager of a licensable house/dwelling under Part 2 and/or Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 to be a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence. Details of the policy can be accessed by the document below:

Fit And Proper Policy Housing Licensing (pdf 53KB)

The Government has published further information around the extension to the Mandatory HMO licensing scheme criteria.  This removes the storey element from the definition and means that Mandatory HMO Licensing will now apply to HMOs that are of any number of storeys (i.e. one or more) and that also satisfy the above occupancy and shared amenity criteria.

Please note that if you have a property in the Selective Licensing area AND your property falls into the above description, you need to apply only for a Mandatory (HMO) Licence at;

If you want to check if you need a licence OR to apply for a licence visit

Further information on the licensing process can be accessed via the links below:

The new licensing regime came into force in Sefton on 1st March 2018.  You will need to apply online for a Housing Licence before 1 September 2018. 

Click here to apply for a licence or go to 

Note that we must receive a valid application by 1 September 2018, please be aware that after this date the Council will be undertaking a rigorous enforcement regime against any unlicensed property landlords.

Please be aware that in order to complete the application form you must have the following information to hand, you may like to prepare for this now:

  • Details (including an email address) for:
    • Applicant
    • Proposed Licence Holder
    • Manager
    • Owner / Joint Owners
    • Long Term Tenant(s) / Leaseholder(s)
    • Any other person willing to be bound by the conditions of the licence
    • Mortgage Provider(s) and account number(s)

Please note that you must inform these people of your intention to apply for a housing licence before submitting your application. You will be asked to provide the date on which you (the Applicant) informed them.

  • Knowledge of  any criminal record, relating to the:
    • Proposed Licence Holder
    • Manager
  • Details of any accreditations held by the Proposed Licence Holder.
  • Knowledge of the existing Planning (and Building Regulations) status of the property to be licensed.
  • Details regarding the facilities and amenities of the house
  • Floor plan of property (HMOs only)
  • Details of any tenancy agreement and terms & conditions of occupation
  • Details of the scheme in which the tenancy deposit is held.

You will also be asked to provide copies of relevant safety certificates for the property which you should submit in electronic form (ideally in PDF format).  These documents may include:

  1. Landlords Gas Safety Record (LGSR)
  2. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)*
  3. Fire Alarm Test Certificate *
  4. Fire Alarm logbook *
  5. Emergency Lighting Certificate*
  6. Portable Appliance Test Certificate (PAT)
  7. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), (excluding HMOs)
  8. Copies of Tenancy Agreement/s or statement of terms and conditions of occupation
  9. List of any other private rented properties you own within Sefton. (NOTE: an electronic list can be attached)
  10. Proof of identification of proposed licence holder
  11. Proof of address of proposed licence holder

*These are only applicable for HMO properties

Yes.  You will need to provide an email address.

If you need to have documents scanned and you don’t currently have the facility to do this, all Sefton libraries offer a scanning facility free of charge.

This is the process that your application will then follow as it moves towards the grant of a Housing licence.  Please note that your application will only become valid when steps 1 to 5 have been completed.

  1. You compete and submit your online application form with the first payment, a copy of your application will be held within your account area and you will receive an email acknowledging your submission and receipt of payment.
  2. We process your form, you may be asked for further information if not included with your application.
  3. A Notice of Intention to Grant a Licence will be issued to you and to any other interested parties. The notice will invite you to make any representations you wish to make on the conditions included in the draft licence.  If you decide to make representations you must do this within 14 days from the date on the notice.
  4. The balance of licence fee will be requested within 14 days if full payment is not received your property will remain unlicensed.
  5. Final licence will be issued after representations (if any), have been considered and resolved.
  6. We will contact you to arrange an appointment with you to inspect the property. The inspection may be arranged sooner in respect of ‘higher risk’ premises such as HMO than in the case of some single family properties, however we fully intend to inspect all licensed premises within the course of the licence.
  7. Where an inspection of the property has taken place, you will be informed of the outcome.
  8. If an inspection identifies licensing issues or housing related hazards that need to be addressed, the licence may be varied by including additional conditions and/or we may require other action to remove any serious hazards under the ‘Housing Health & Safety Rating System’ (HHSRS).

The designation covers parts of Bootle as identified below:

No, there are some properties exempt from licensing see the full list here.

There are a number of licencing conditions that landlords will be required to comply with.

Note:  Only applications that were received prior to 31 May 2018 (Early Bird) and 1 September 2018 (Property or Management Agent Accreditation) will benefit from the respective reduced fee as shown below. 

Selective Licensing


£ Annual Equivalent

£ Weekly Equivalent

  Full Fee








 Accredited Managing Agent (licence holder)




  Early Bird




In addition to the above fee, individual properties that have 7 or more units (e.g. flats, bedsits, bedrooms) within it will incur an additional fee as shown in the table below, this is per property and not per unit.

  In addition :


  7-12 units


  13-20 units


  21+ units



A landlord has 10 flats within a building the charge (based on full fee) would be:

£695 +£150 = £845

Do I pay up front?

You will be required to pay £150 on application for each property within the Selective licensing area, the balance after allowing for any reduced fees will be requested on production of draft licence.


We would only give a refund for a property licence if an application was made by mistake.

Situations considered to be a mistake are if:

  • the property is outside the designated area
  • a duplicate application has been made
  • an application was made for an exempted property

We will not give a refund if:

  • We refuse your application
  • You withdraw your application
  • We revoke your licence
  • You are refused planning permission for works required to your property
  • If you cancel your licence

No repayment of the licence fee will be made to the existing licence holder (or applicant) for any unexpired period of the licence since licence fees are not connected to the length of a licence so if you cancel your licence before it expires (for example, if you sell your property), we cannot give you a refund.

It is an offence if the landlord or person in control of the property:

  • fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or
  • allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence

A fine of any amount may be imposed.  In addition, breaking any of the licence conditions can result in fines of any amount per offence.

We can refuse a licence application if we decide you are not a fit and proper person or if the property does not meet the licensing conditions.

You may appeal if the council decides to:

  • refuse a licence
  • grant a licence with conditions
  • revoke a licence
  • vary a licence
  • refuse to vary a licence

You must appeal to the First-tier Property Tribunal normally within 28 days.

Housing Standards, Team Sefton Council, Ground Floor Magdalen House

30 Trinity Road, Bootle   L20 3NJ Email:

Documents relating to the decision to introduce Selective Licensing can be viewed here

No.  A licence is not transferrable.

If the licence holder changes during the term of the licence, you should inform us within 7 days of the change and a new full licence application should be submitted (original will be revoked).  If appointing a managing agent as licence holder, you are advised to be confident in retaining the services of that agent for the full term of the licence since changing licence holder (even to yourself), would incur an extra licence fee.

Yes, a licence holder is required to be a resident of the United Kingdom.  Any non-resident landlords should appoint a representative from within the UK to be licence holder, such as a local property managing agent.

 Landlords guide to dealing with Anti-Social behaviour is available to access here

If you would like to be kept updated on the proposed licensing schemes, please contact:

Last Updated on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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