Like it or not, Selective Licensing in Nottingham is fast approaching.
It would appear that Nottingham City Council have now released their final communications surrounding the scheme. The application process opens on the 1st July and applicants will have until the 1st August to submit their application. Failure to submit an application for a licence is an offence and can result in a fine and / or rent repayment order.
The cost of Selective Licensing in Nottingham will be £780.00 per property (for each separate dwelling) although discounts are being offered for landlords who obtain Nottingham Standard Accreditation via DASH or UNIPOL (student). The cost of obtaining a licence having received accreditation would reduce to £480.00, but it’s important to note that DASH charge a fee of £95+VAT to apply for a three year accreditation – the licence term being 5 years – so landlords with only one property are not necessarily going to be saving a great deal. More information on DASH and UNIPOL can be found below:
We have outlined some of the key new information in this email, including ways in which we can help you to ensure that you meet the regulations when they come into force.
The Good News
Nottingham City Council have reviewed their initial Selective Licensing conditions and this court case in 2015 has set a precedent for some of the more unusual requests to have been relaxed. These are as follows:
– Applicants are no longer required to submit an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or indeed a PAT test certificate as part of the initial application. Note however that not providing these documents will generate some form of ‘risk’ flag to the council and increase the chances of the property being inspected. The council are also planning on making these items part of the on-going licence conditions but it is not yet known in what form.
– Floorplans and rooms sizes will not need to be submitted as part of the application.
– There is no longer a requirement for thumb turn locks on the final exit doors of the property.
– There is no longer a requirement to provide an inventory as part of the application.
– There is no longer a requirement for advanced fire protection to be installed in a property (unless it is regarded as a HMO). There is still a responsibility for smoke and CO detectors in line with general UK legislation.
– Proof of buildings insurance will now only need to show that the policy covers a Buy-To-Let property.
– Landlords with over 30 properties and agents with over 120 properties will have an additional two month grace period to submit applications subject to approval from the council (we have been able to exercise this benefit).
The Bad News
The full weight of responsibility will fall on the Licence Holder who must also be resident in the UK. What this means is that if you are proposing to be the Licence Holder then you are going to need to adhere to a whole raft of additional requirements.
A snapshot of some of these requirements can be found below:
– The proposed License Holder and / or Manager are required to provide a basic DBS check (criminal record check) as part of the application.
– Where the licence holder has not attended relevant training in the previous 3 years, they must as a minimum attend suitable training on the law and legal requirements relating to managing privately rented housing within 12 months of the date the licence is granted.
– The Licence Holder shall ensure that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to prevent or reduce anti-social behaviour by the occupants of and visitors to the house.
– The Licence Holder must ensure that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to respond to repair and maintenance issues at the property and that any works to deal with repairs are undertaken within a reasonable period of time after they are notified, and within the timescales notified to occupiers.
– The Licence Holder shall make sure that adequate security arrangements are in place.
– The Licence Holder shall ensure so far as is reasonably possible that the occupiers make arrangements for the collection of waste in accordance with these provisions and, when the property is unoccupied, adhere to these provisions themselves.
– The Licence Holder shall ensure that inspections of the property are carried out at least every six (6) months to identify any problems relating to the condition and management of the property. The records of such inspections shall be kept for the duration of this licence. As a minimum requirement, the records must contain a log of who carried out the inspection, the date and the time of inspection and any issues found and action(s) taken. Copies of these records must be provided within 7 days of the Council’s demand.
– At the beginning of a new tenancy, the Licence Holder must provide the occupier(s) with written information, including contact details, explaining how they can make a complaint about the property and the arrangements in place to deal with emergency and other repairs. The contact and telephone number details should enable contact between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, and should also include an out of hours contact number for use in emergencies, which could include a number with a regularly accessed voicemail facility. Any change in contact and/or telephone number details should be provided to occupiers within 24 hours of the changes being made. Copies of the written information provided to tenants must be provided within 7 days of the Council’s demand.
A full list of all 35 Selective Licensing requirements can be found on the Nottingham City Council website here.
How we can help
We have had clarification from Nottingham City Council that for those who wish to pass on the burden of responsibility we can act as both the Licence Holder and Manager. To that end, as ARLA regulated letting agents in Nottingham we have created a new product aimed specifically at landlords who require a Selective Licence.
The services below apply to new or existing clients that choose to take up our Full Management service only:
Submission of Selective Licensing application: £150.00 (Inc VAT)
We will complete and submit the full licence application to Nottingham City Council on your behalf. This is based on all relevant information having been provided to us by the first week in July including any safety certificates (we can assist you in obtaining these if required). We will also require up-front payment of the licence submission fee (£780.00) in order to pay this to the council as part of the process.
Submission of the Selective Licensing application includes responding to any queries made by the council and ensuring accuracy as part of the submission. If you have submitted a licence application in the past you will know that this can be a very time consuming task.
Licence Holder & Full Management Service: Additional 2% + VAT management fee (current clients) or 12% + VAT management fee (new clients).
This will involve us becoming the Licence Holder and Manager on your behalf, thus absolving you of all responsibilities under the licence. You will remain named as the owner of the property but the burden of responsibility will fall upon us.
What does this mean for you?
– No requirement to undertake regular training.
– No DBS check required (saving you time and money).
– No need to worry about safety certificates being renewed – we will do this for you.
– Full audit trail for maintenance visits, check in, check out and inspections.
– No need to worry about accidentally breaching the licence conditions.
– No laborious paperwork – we have all of the necessary processes and paperwork in place.
– No further obligations under the licence – these all fall onto us.
– No requirement to deal with the council – no more sitting on hold for hours!
– Everything else that comes with our market leading Full Management service.
*Note that if you wish to revert to becoming the licence holder at any point during the licence period you will be required to submit a new application to the council.
What are your options?
1. Take action now before it’s too late. The deadline is looming and if you decide to become the Licence Holder there could be no going back. Are you prepared to meet all of the licence demands?
2. Call us on 0115 981 9651 and ask for Will Brandley if you require further information on Selective Licensing or our Full Management service.
Alternatively to find out more about how we work visit us here.