Do you need a licence to be a landlord in Bristol?
Bristol introduced a landlord licensing scheme in 2017 to prevent rogue landlords from renting out poor quality (and sometimes dangerous) housing. While the cost of applying for a licence initially raised eyebrows, most landlords and tenants have since praised the tighter regulations.
Licences have improved the overall state of the rental market. Reputable landlords are no longer undercut by a questionable minority, and the council has more power to support landlords with anti-social tenants. Thanks to improved safety criteria, families and people in shared accommodation can also rest assured that properties are fit for purpose.
With that said, do you need a licence to be a landlord in Bristol? The answer is yes if you’re a private landlord or managing agent of:
- A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) where five or more unrelated people live (covered by the mandatory licensing scheme and applicable across the UK)
- An HMO where three or four unrelated people live in the wards of Central Bristol, Bedminster, Brislington West or Horfield (covered by the additional licensing scheme)
- Other privately rented properties in the wards of Bedminster and Brislington West, including properties rented out to individuals, couples and families (covered by the selective licensing scheme)