New Bristol licensing requirements

With the rollout of Bristol City Council’s new rental market licensing scheme upon us (6th August 2024), we wanted to give you a bit more information on what it means and whether it affects you.

Rental legal legislation and notices - cutting through the legal jargon for our Bristol landlords

‘Additional’ Licensing Scheme to cover all areas of Bristol

A landlord must obtain an ‘additional’ licence if the rental is a small HMO  – consisting of 3-4 sharers from 2 or more households. Previously 15 Bristol wards required this licence, but it has now been expanded to all areas that fall within Bristol City Council remit. 

‘Selective’ Licensing Schemes introduced to Bishopston and Ashley Down, Cotham and Easton wards

The council can introduce selective licences to certain areas known as ‘wards’.  Selective licensing schemes are normally temporary and will often last for 5 years (this means that you will likely only need to apply for the licence once and that’s it). The council can introduce selective licensing in select areas for several reasons including poor housing conditions, anti-social behaviour and high levels of crime.

A selective licence is required for any privately rented property to a family or 1-2 occupants, but not HMOs and is being introduced to rentals in Bishopston and Ashley Down, Cotham and Easton wards.

What is a ‘household’?

Households are talked about a lot in terms of property licensing, so what defines one?:-

Bristol City Council have a useful website of licensing terminology here.

How do I know if I’m affected by the new licensing schemes?

Bristol City Council have released a map outlining the city and its wards. Or, if you prefer, they have a ward finder. Input your property’s postcode to either of these to see if your property is covered by Bristol City Council and which ward your property falls under. If your property is managed by The Letting Game and your property is affected by a new licensing scheme then we’ll be in contact to help you.

If your property is under Bristol City Council, click this link to check if you need a licence.

What next?

If your property is managed by us and needs a licence, our Compliance & Policy Officer Alex will be in touch shortly to get the ball rolling.

The applications for the new licensing schemes don’t open until 6th August and you will have until 5th November to apply for your new licence.

If you are applying for the licence yourself, click the ‘Apply’ button on Bristol City Council’s website and follow the steps…

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