Clients with unoccupied or vacant property who are thinking about letting them within selective licensing areas need to be aware of the rules governing them. A Blackburn landlord has been fined £9,000 for illegally renting out a house in one of these areas. The Housing Act 2004 allows areas of low rental demand to be designated in this way with the aim of regenerating and improving them. Landlords must pass a “fit and proper person” test and they must be prepared to deal with anti-social behaviour by their tenants so as to improve the overall quality of life in the area. Only if you have a licence can you carry on a letting business.

In this case the landlord did not have a licence and the property was not fit for habitation; it was in a state of disrepair with fire safety and drainage issues. Do you have any experience of renting in selective licensing areas?