Facts about Selective Licensing
- People in Nottingham have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation. The new licencing scheme is aimed at raising housing standards in the private rented sector to provide quality housing for all.
- The council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme and the scheme has to be cost neutral. Costs go towards the setup, running and enforcement of the scheme and this is how licence fee will be determined.
- The cost of the licence is still likely to be less than £2 per week per property for accredited landlords and no more than £3 per week for non-accredited landlords (subject to approval). The cost of the licence won’t be confirmed until they are submitted for Executive Board approval in April.
- We believe that landlords should be able to absorb the license fees as part of the cost of running their business and be able to demonstrate that they offer a good standard of accommodation, without the need to increase rents.
- A report by the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Group (Sept 2016) estimated that 21% of Nottingham’s private rented properties are likely to have ‘Category 1 hazards’, examples of this type of hazard could include exposed wiring, a dangerous boiler, cold bedrooms, a leaking roof, mould on walls or ceilings and vermin infestation. Selective Licensing will help ensure these issues are addressed.
- Enforcing the licence - During the duration of the scheme, colleagues will be employed to inspect a percentage of the properties to ensure compliance with the licence conditions. Where licence holders are failing in their duties, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken. Part of the licence fee income goes towards setting up and carrying out the enforcement process.
- Key benefits
- Tenants will know what is expected of their landlord in terms of management of the property and standards. If landlords don’t comply with their legal obligations and apply for a licence, tenants can apply to claim their rent back from the Tribunal service.
- Improvements will be made to poor property conditions and standards will be raised across Nottingham’s private rented sector.
- Rogue landlords will be investigated and action taken. This is good news for good landlords who are operating legitimately and complying with the law.
Selective Licensing Background
The proposal to introduce a new licensing scheme for landlords in Nottingham has now been formally confirmed by the Minster for Housing and Homelessness. The implementation date will be 1st August 2018. To help you prepare for this we have developed a number of resources and good practice guides.
Applications cannot be made at this time. The Council is aiming to make the application form available from 1 July 2018 (please note this date is provisional and we will confirm this date as soon as we are able to).
There will be an online portal by which an application can be made but in the meantime please refer to the FAQs which provide details of the documentation that is required to complete the application process.
Details of the proposed scheme can be found here (Executive Board Report July 2017)
Councillor Jane Urquhart, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said: “Alongside building new houses and taking tough enforcement action against rogue landlords, we believe introducing a new licensing scheme for landlords is one of the most important measures we can take to improve the quality of housing in the city, which is why we made it a key objective in the Council Plan published last year.”
To find out whether your rental property is within the Selective Licensing designation please use the My Property website
Following the July Executive Board decision Councillor Urquhart said: “We have listened carefully to the issues raised in the consultation and made changes to the proposed scheme without losing focus on the improvements it sets to achieve in the overall standard of private rented housing in the city. Reducing the cost of the licence for landlords who have accreditation creates even more of an incentive for landlords to obtain it to demonstrate that they meet the required standards so we would encourage them to make an application now via DASH or Unipol.”
The submission made to the Secretary State requests approval for a ‘Selective Licensing’ scheme which would require private landlords to obtain a licence demonstrating that they and their properties meet required standards. The proposed cost of the licence for landlords who already have accreditation, is £520. This would mean the cost of a licence for accredited landlords would be £2 a week over the five years of the scheme. The proposed cost of a licence for non-accredited landlords is £780 per property for 5 years which is £3 a week over the five years of the scheme. Whilst the fee may change prior to the implementation of the scheme, any changes in the fee are likely to be no more than 20% of the original fee proposed in July's Board report.
The Building Research Establishment Private Sector Housing stock survey for the City of Nottingham is now available on Nottingham insight and can be accessed here
Further Information – firstname.lastname@example.org
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