People in Nottingham have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation. The new selective licensing scheme aims to raise housing standards in the private rented sector to provide quality housing for all.
- Why the scheme is needed
- Key benefits
- Scheme details
- When it will Start
- Properties that require a licence
- Applying for a licence
- Licence costs
- Enforcing the licence
- More information
- Resources and good practise guides
Nottingham City Council is introducing a new licensing scheme, which will mean landlords in most areas of the city will have to obtain a licence for each property they rent out to ensure it meets safety and quality standards.
Evidence suggests that too many people in Nottingham are paying rent on private properties that are not safe or of a decent standard. A report by the Building Research Establishment (Sept 2016) estimated that 21% of Nottingham’s private rented properties are likely to have ‘Category 1’ hazards including exposed wiring, dangerous boilers, cold bedrooms, leaking roofs, mould or vermin infestation. The full report can be downloaded here.
People in Nottingham have a right to expect a good and safe standard of private rented accommodation, which is well managed and maintained. The new selective licensing scheme aims to raise housing standards in the private rented sector to provide quality housing for all.
Landlords who do not apply for a licence or do not meet the required standards may be putting tenants' safety and long term health and wellbeing at risk.
- 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.
The scheme will come into force on 1 August 2018, but we are aiming to accept applications from landlords from 1 July 2018.
To help landlords and agents prepare for this, we have developed a number of resources and good practice guides
We have also prepared a handbook to help guide landlords and letting agents through the Selective Licensing process. You can download the latest version of the handbook here.
The new Selective Licensing scheme does not cover all areas of the city. It’s estimated to cover over 30,000 privately rented homes in a designated area. The scheme will cover some /parts of some wards. The areas affected include: Arboretum, Bestwood, Bulwell, Bulwell Forest, Basford, Berridge, Bridge, Clifton North, Clifton South, Dales, Dunkirk and Lenton, Leen Valley, Mapperley, Radford and Park, Sherwood, St Ann’s, Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey.
To find out whether your rental property is within the Selective Licensing designation please use the My Property website
Some properties, such as those managed by Housing Associations and Nottingham City Homes properties are exempt from licencing. More details can be found in the FAQs
It is the responsibility of the person who has control of the property (usually the person who receives the rent for the property) to apply to the council for a licence. This can be the owner or manager. The council aims to make an online portal for applications available from 1 July 2018 (provisional date only) but Landlords can start preparing the documentation, which will be required to support their applications now.
A licence will last up to 5 years and one licence will be required for each private rented property – not each landlord. Landlords and property managers (person receiving the rent) need to apply for a licence, not tenants.
It is an offence if a person having control of a house does not apply for a licence where one is required. This could be the owner, leaseholder, managing agent etc. If found guilty of this offence, the fine may be up to a maximum of £20,000. The council can now issue financial penalties of up to £30,000 for offences under the Housing Act 2004. This would be instead of a prosecution.
Failure to licence properties may also affect any decision regarding existing or future licences. Tenants can also apply to claim their rent back (rent repayment order) for the period the property was unlicensed, or housing benefit can be ordered to be repaid.
Licences will cost landlords with Nottingham Standard accreditation £480, the equivalent of £1.85 a week per property over the five years of the scheme and £780, which equates to £3 a week if they haven’t got accreditation.
There is an additional cost for becoming accredited details of which can be found by following the link to More information on the Nottingham Standard below.
Fees and Discounts
1st payment £460
2nd payment £320
For non-accredited landlords
Fee for accredited landlords properties
1st payment £360
2nd payment £120
The proposed licence holder is accredited with the Nottingham Standard (Either Unipol or Dash)
A number of property owners or managers already deliver good quality and well managed homes and have gained Nottingham Standard accreditation via DASH or UNIPOL. We cannot exempt them from the scheme, but because this makes the task of licensing these properties easier, we are offering a discount for those accredited.
The Council believes that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent and that the vast majority of landlords will absorb the licence fee and the cost of any necessary improvements to properties as part of the day-to-day costs of running of their business. Income from the licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and delivering the schemes. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.
Throughout 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.
People who have concerns about how a landlord or agent is managing a rented property, can contact email@example.com
These pages will be updated as more information becomes available, so landlords and tenants should keep checking back for the latest information.
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
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