Landlord licensing in general is on the increase following the introduction of Selective Licensing 27 March 2015. Selective Licensing for landlords has now been introduced by many local authorities up and down the land. The aim is to improve the Private Rental Sector (PRS) within areas known to harbour both rogue landlords and anti-social behaviour.
Regulations now require all landlords with properties in selective zones to apply for a Selective Licence. The licence must be held regardless of the size of the property. Prosecution or prevention from any further renting of the property are to be served on those without licenses.
What do landlords think about Selective Licensing?
The Government claims the introduction of Selective Licensing was to improve the quality of the PRS. Within Nottingham alone, the PRS makes up as much as 23% of all homes. And importantly, Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) occupy a quarter of this statistic. With the ever-growing concern of overcrowding due to immigration, councils seem intent on tackling housing issues.
Many landlords, however, are taking the licensing regulation personally, and it’s no surprise. With the cost for a licence in Nottingham typically being £460 per property it’s no surprise that landlord’s are up in arms. Rather than focusing on the few landlords who ignore the law, council’s seem to be penalising the honest majority. And most landlords agree that rogue landlords will continue to ignore the new rules and fly under the radar.
Which properties need to be licensed?
All rental properties that fall within a council’s self-elected zone are affected by the new legislation. The numbers are huge. Within Nottingham City Council’s boundary alone there are approximately 32,000 properties that could be affected. And none of us expect council’s to police the schemes sufficiently. In essence, any property that does not already hold a form of licence such as for a HMO, will need a Selective Licence. Make no mistake – neglecting to get a license when you’re required to do so could lead to prosecution. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Check where your property sits within the licensing regulations by contacting your local council first.
You should be aware that once granted, a selective licence is only valid for five years. If you already have a licence, ensure you know when the date is by which you need to renew. If you have just applied for a licence, be sure to set a reminder for five years’ time to make sure you don’t miss it. It may seem crazy to plan five years ahead but it’s an easy thing to forget.
Finally, you can find out a lot more about Selective Licensing schemes here.
And don’t despair – Slater and Brandley can offer information and advice on Selective Licensing in Nottingham. Simply visit us online or call us today on 0115 981 9651.