You must have a licence if you're a private landlord or managing agent of:
- shared accommodation that's defined as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) anywhere in Bristol in which 5 or more unrelated people live (mandatory licensing scheme)
- an HMO in which 3 or 4 unrelated people live in the the twelve wards of Central Bristol, or in Bedminster, Brislington West or Horfield wards (additional licensing schemes), see blue areas of map
- privately rented properties in Bedminster and Brislington West wards, including properties let to one or 2 people or families (selective licensing scheme), see pink areas of map
If you're the landlord of a newly rented property you have 28 days to apply from when the property was occupied.
The Bedminster, Brislington West and Horfield licensing schemes came into effect on 6 April 2022.
We gave an extra 3 months, until 6 July 2022, to submit a valid application before enforcement would be considered.
It is an offence to operate an unlicensed property when it must have a license. This could result in prosecution with an unlimited fine or a Civil Penalty Notice (CPN) of up to £30,000. It could also result in a Rent Repayment Order of up to 12 months' rent being awarded.
View a copy of the pdf Public Notice designating the schemes (163 KB) .
You can find more information in our press release.
Check if you need a licence
If you're not sure if you need a licence, fill in the first part of the online application form and we'll work it out. If you need a licence you can continue to the rest of the form.
Temporary Exemption from Licensing
If you intend to take steps to make your property no longer licensable, you can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN). If granted, the property will not be required to be licensed for a period of three months from the date that the TEN is served. If a request is received for a second TEN and there are exceptional circumstances, we may grant a second and final TEN for a further 3-month period.
A TEN may be granted, for example where:
- a section 21 notice has been served to terminate a tenancy;
- the property is sold subject to contract;
- tenants have given notice of their intention to vacate the property.
If you're a registered provider of social housing and own or manage houses in multiple occupation you may not need a licence. The GOV.UK website has a list of registered providers.
When determining a property licence application, there's no requirement for the property to have planning consent.
However, to comply with planning legislation, planning consent may need to be obtained.
In certain areas of the city, Article 4 directions are in place which remove permitted development rights and you may need to submit a planning application for change of use between a dwelling house (Use Class C3) and a small House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4).
Before you start
You need a separate licence for each rented property.
To fill in the form, you'll need:
- an email address
- around 20 minutes to complete the form
- mortgage company details
- names, addresses and contact details of the owners, managing agents or anyone else with a legal interest in the property
- property details like the number and type of rooms
- details of other licence holders
- details of other properties you have a licence for in the UK
- payment card details to pay the part one fee
When you submit the application you must confirm that:
- you've made the appropriate checks that anybody involved in the property agrees to the document fit and proper person declaration (65 KB)
- anybody involved in the property agrees to the legal declarations and doesn't have unspent criminal convictions