We currently operate one selective licensing scheme in Doncaster, covering the designated area of Hexthorpe. If you are a private landlord renting out a residential property in a designated area, you are likely to require a licence.  The Edlington selective licensing scheme came to an end on 6th February 2023. Please select the Edlington ribbon below for further details.

Do I require a licence?

If you own or manage a Private Rented Property in the designated area you will most likely need to ensure that the house is licensed. Please refer to the statutory exemptions detailed below.

Anyone who is in control of or manages a licensable house which is not so licensed commits an offence. The penalty for such an offence is a financial penalty of up to £30000 or prosecution and an unlimited fine.

If you own or manage a Private Rented Property that meets the criteria of a licensable HMO, you will need to apply for a houses in multiple occupation licence rather than a Selective Licence.

Please click the relevant row below for further details of the Selective Licensing area.


On the 15th November 2021 the Council designated an area of Hexthorpe for Selective Licensing. The designation became operational on 1st March 2022 and will operate for up to 5 years. For further details on the Hexthorpe scheme, including how to apply, please go to the following dedicated page-



The current Edlington Selective Licence Scheme has come to an end. This means that at present there is no legal requirement for you to obtain a selective licence. Requirements for houses in multiple occupation licensing will remain unchanged.


It is important to understand that your obligations as a landlord have not changed. Landlords must continue to manage properties to a decent standard and run an effective business and the council will continue to monitor this.


Information gathered from the scheme will be used by the council to guide a programme of proactive inspections in Edlington to improve the practices of the minority of landlords who have fallen short of the standards we expect. The council will also continue to ensure that landlords who attempt to avoid regulations do not gain a financial advantage by doing so, at the expense of those who make diligent efforts to run a compliant business.  


We are pleased that the scheme has brought about some positive results, including:


  • A reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour complaints relating to licensed properties
  • Property standards in licensed properties have improved with less and lower risk issues being noted during inspections
  • The timescales for improvements to be completed has improved


 We will continue to work with landlords on these issues:


  • Providing a level playing field for standards of property management so all tenants can enjoy decent living standards
  • Encouraging under-performing landlord’s to comply with their legal obligations which will include taking enforcement action where needed
  • Issuing financial penalties where a landlord has failed to change unsatisfactory practices
  • Dealing with anti-social behaviour concerns


As a landlord you need to keep up to date with your changing obligations. Recent changes to the law which local authorities are tasked with enforcing include:


  • The requirement for carbon monoxide alarms in living rooms which contains a fixed combustion appliance, applicable from 1st October 2022 (Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022.
  • The requirement for most types of tenancy used in the private rented sector to obtain a minimum EPC rating of Band E (Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations.
  • The requirement for landlords of private rented properties to have the electrics checked every five years as a minimum (Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020


All of the above apply irrespective of any licences issued under the Housing Act 2004.


The City of Doncaster Council website contains the information you need to be able to do this and we are also happy to provide you with advice on regulatory matters should you require it.


You can select the link below to access the information online.




We thank all those landlords who continue to comply with their obligations. If the council decides to re-designate a licensing scheme in the future we will communicate with you and may ask for your input before a scheme is implemented. In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to work with you to improve housing standards in Doncaster.



Who is exempt?

  • Any HMO which is required to be licensed under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004. 
  • Properties owned by a Registered Social Landlord (e.g. St Leger or other RSL) 
  • The property has been prohibited under Section 20 of the Housing Act and this action has not been suspended. 
  • It is subject to a management order or empty dwelling management order under part 4 of the Housing Act 2004 (currently none in the designated area) 
  • Property is managed or controlled by Doncaster Council, a Registered Social Landlord, South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue or a Health Service Body. 
  • Properties occupied on business tenancies (occupied for the purpose of a business carried out by the occupier). Example shop managers flat above the shop. 
  • Licensed Premises, any area occupied that is also covered by a Premises Licence for sale or supply of alcohol. (Licensing Act 2003, s.14) 
  • The term of the tenancy is more than 21 years. 
  • Houses let to family members (family member is defined as married to each other or living in equivalent relationship, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin. A relationship of the half blood or a step child is to be treated the same). 
  • If lodgers live with you and share your accommodation you are exempt from licensing. We may request evidence the property is the main or only residence of the owner before this exemption is confirmed.

For full details of exemptions please refer to Part 3 of The Housing Act 2004 and The Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions)( England ) Order 2006.


What happens if a landlord does not apply for a licence? What about rent repayment orders (RRO)?

It is a criminal offence to operate without a licence. On conviction a landlord can be given an unlimited fine. In some circumstances, the Council can issue a financial penalty instead of seeking conviction which can be up to a value of £30,000. Further, should a landlord fail to licence their property, tenants have the ability to apply for a Rent Repayment Order to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The Tribunal can make an order for the landlord to re-pay the tenant up to 12 months rent for the period in which the offence was occurring. If the Council has evidence that a landlord has failed to licence, we may supply tenants with that evidence to support their application for an RRO. Visit the Government Guidance on gov.uk to access the application form to commence an RRO

How can I find out if a landlord has a current licence?

Use our map to find out if a property has been granted a Landlord licence.

Other questions and answers

Contact details


Social Media

Last updated: 27 March 2024 11:38:28

Did you find this page helpful?