The Housing Act 2004 gives local authorities the power to declare an area(s) of the city a Discretionary Licensing area where there are problems with the condition and management of privately rented accommodation. The powers also include crime and anti-social behaviour, deprived areas and where there are issues with migration affecting the private rented sector. As part of its ‘tool-kit’ in dealing with these issues local authorities can use this proactive area based initiative where others have not been proved to be effective. Landlords of some privately rented properties must apply for a licence if they want to let their properties in these areas.
Bristol City Council is currently consulting on including the St George West Ward within the Discretionary Licensing area.