Apply for a selective landlord licence
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the early application period for The Avenues Phase 3 licensing scheme has been lengthened from 30 April to 30 October 2020. Fully completed applications received before 30 October 2020 will benefit from an early application discount. Please note that the Phase 3 start date currently remains as 30 April 2020, however no enforcement action will be considered for those applications received between 30 April and 29 October 2020. Applications received on or after 30 October 2020 will not benefit from an early application discount.
The Government have released guidance for private landlords and tenants in terms of roles and responsibilities during the pandemic [273.16KB]
You can now apply online for a selective landlord licence. In order to apply online you will need to register for a My Gateshead account.
If you have already started a selective landlord licensing application you will be able to access it via the 'My requests' section of your My Gateshead Account.
Please refer to our selective landlord licensing application checklist [131.63KB] for a list of everything you will need in order to complete this application.
You will be charged an initial fee of £190 per property upon application, once your application is processsed this fee will be deducted from the total amount payable. Please refer to our fees and charges [174.88KB] for further information.
Your application will be processed by the private sector housing team. You may be asked to supply further details. Your licence fee will be calculated by the private sector housing team and you will receive an invoice for the total amount minus the £190 per property payable upon application.
Paper applications are not being accepted at this point in time and will only be considered if there are exceptional circumstances e.g. applicant does not have access to the internet/PC/Laptop/device.
Our selective licensing schemes aim to reduce housing demand by raising standards within the private rented sector leading to improvements in the overall social and economic conditions in the area to create a strong, healthy and vibrant neighbourhood. It is also considered that the schemes will assist in the reduction of anti-social behaviour in the designated areas.
The schemes will come into effect on the following dates:
|Central Bensham||Phase 2 (redesignated area)||30 April 2018|
|The Avenues||Phase 1||30 October 2018|
|The Avenues||Phase 2||30 October 2019|
|The Avenues||Phase 3||30 April 2020|
The schemes require all landlords who privately rent out properties in the designated areas to obtain a licence from the council. They need to show basic safety checks have been carried out and that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.
The licence holder and any manager must be a fit and proper person and must declare certain convictions or breaches of certain laws.
It is a criminal offence to let a privately rented property in a designated area without a licence and failure to apply for one could lead to a financial penalty up to £30,000 or a prosecution with an unlimited fine. Failure to comply with any of the conditions of the licence could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 or a prosecution. It is also a criminal offence to make a false statement in an application for a licence or fail to comply with any condition of a licence. Please refer to our
civil penalties enforcement guidance document [675.92KB] for further details on selective licensing and civil penalties.
What you will need:
- details of the tenants
- information about the property to be licensed
- documents relating to the property, the licence holder and any manager (see checklist below)
- if the manager and licence holder are two different people then an additional Fit and Proper Person Sheet will need to be completed.
Our application checklist [131.63KB] has a list of everything that you will need before making an application for selective landlord licensing.
Are there any exemptions?
Properties with a mandatory HMO licence are exempt. There are also a number of other circumstances which mean you do not have to apply for a licence. Please refer to the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) document [48.68KB] for a full list of exemptions.
How to apply
Applications can be made by completion of the online application form using the link at the top of this page. Any supporting documentation not provided within seven days of submission of an online application may result in the refusal and return of the application.
Paper based applications are available on request. Please ensure you have all the information detailed in 'what you will need' to enable you to complete your application in full. Do not email the application or any attachments. Applications will be received by post or they can be delivered to Gateshead Council Civic Centre.
Who needs to apply
All private landlords (unless exempt) who rent out a property in any of the designated areas. You can find details and a map of the designated areas on the selective licensing areas page.
Fit and proper criteria
Under the Housing Act 2004, licence holders and managers must be 'fit and proper' persons in order to undertake the responsibilities of managing a private rented property. We have to assess whether proposed licence holders are 'fit and proper' persons to hold a landlord licence.
The 'fit and proper' person test applies to any person managing the premises and any director or partner in a company or organisation which owns or manages the property.
This means having no serious record of poor management or an outstanding criminal charge that is inconsistent with operating as a landlord. It helps to confirm the landlord is both reputable and capable of following good tenancy management.
We will carry out checks to make sure that the person applying for the licence is a "fit and proper person". In deciding whether someone is "fit and proper" we must take into account, amongst other things:
- Any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud;
- whether the proposed Licence Holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues;
- whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination;
- whether the person has previously managed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) that have broken any approved code of practice.
The Licence Holder must declare to us as part of the application process that they are a 'fit and proper' person. This includes declaring any cautions issued by the Police or convictions of an offence involving any of the following: - harassment and/or illegal eviction of tenants, assault against another person, crimes of dishonesty, offences relating to drugs, offences under schedule 3 of the Sexual Offenders Act 2003 and any unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic origin or disability.
A criminal conviction doesn't necessarily mean that a landlord won't pass the test. We will have to look at every case individually and weigh up all the circumstances when making a decision. For example, we will have to think about:
- what the conviction was for;
- how long ago it was and whether it is spent or not;
- whether or not it will affect the person's ability to be a good landlord;
- the risk of the same thing happening again and whether that would affect the person's duties as a Licence Holder.
If the licence holder or manager fails the fit and proper test, your application may be rejected and the licence application fee will not be refunded.
Further information and guidance in relation to the fit and proper person criteria and how applications are assessed can be found in the Selective landlord licensing service standard [140.44KB].
Further information in relation when convictions can be regarded as spent can be found in the Brief guide to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 [400.26KB].
Licence fee payments
You must make the Licensing Officer aware at the time of application of your intended method of payment. Licence fees can be paid via the methods below:
- Split payments (Phased payment plan)
- In full (at the agreement of the applicant - a signed declaration will be required)
A payment of £190 per licence application is required at the time of submission which represents the application element of the licence fee. Online applications will automatically be prompted for this payment. The remaining balance will then be issued via an invoice depending upon your chosen method of payment (in full/split payment) and any discounts applicable.
If making a paper based application, the application must be accompanied by the £190 application fee via a cheque (made payable to Gateshead Council), or by attending the Civic Centre with the application form to make the payment via cash/debit/credit card. The remaining balance will then be issued via an invoice depending upon your chosen method of payment (in full/split payment) and any discounts applicable.
Phased payment plan
|Number of properties||Payment Period (maximum)|
|1 - 2||3 months|
There is a charge of £25 per property to participate in the payment plan. This will be added to the total amount due.
The total amount required (minus the £190 paid application fee) will be divided by the appropriate and agreed payment period (three or six months). The first payment is required within seven days of an invoice being raised.
The invoice will outline the total fee due (including any payments already made) and the date and amounts of the monthly payments required. The different methods of payment are described on the back of the invoice.
Applicants are encouraged to set up monthly standing orders as any missed or late payments will result in payment of the remaining amount due being required immediately in full. Unpaid fees could result in revocation/refusal of a licence and/or formal action. Any discounts to be repaid at the end of the licensing period will be applied at that time.
Applicant paying in full
Applicants wishing to pay for their application in full are required to sign a declaration to confirm they have been advised of the option to split payments and have chosen to pay in full.
Payments in full can either be paid at the time of application within the civic centre, by cash, cheque or debit/credit card. Applicants will be issued with a retrospective invoice.
Alternatively, payment can be made within seven days of an invoice being raised. The method of payments can be found on the back of the invoice. For further information please contact the Landlord Licensing Team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 0191 433 3365
An application will not be deemed as completed and duly made until an application is received with all required supporting documentation and the £190 application fee. The licence fee will be calculated based on the date an application is duly made.
Temporary exemption notices
Applications can be made for a temporary exemption to licence a property within a Selective Licensing Area under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004.
Temporary exemptions can only be applied for if you are in the process of returning the property to owner occupation.
A landlord can apply for a temporary exemption notice where they intend to take steps to ensure that the house does not require a licence. For example:
- where there is a sale agreed to someone who intends to live in the property themselves
- where the owner is moving back into the property
- where the property is undergoing current conversion works to change the use into a commercial premises
You cannot use a Section 21 Notice to evict tenants from a property that is subject to licensing, if you do not have a licence.
- Selective landlord licensing service standard [140.44KB]
- Brief guide to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 [400.26KB]
- Selective landlord licensing application checklist [131.63KB]
- Selective landlord licensing fees and charges [174.88KB]
- Exemptions from selective landlord licensing [48.68KB]
Please contact us using the details below if you have any questions or if you would like help completing your application for selective licensing.
Private Sector Housing Team
0191 433 3365