Nottingham City Council gives the go ahead for selective licensing scheme this August

The Licensing of Family Housing -Nottingham

The Executive Board for Nottingham City Council agreed and finalized their decision to commence a citywide Selective Licensing on Tuesday 17th April, with the scheme commencing 1st August 2018.

At this meeting Councillors also agreed to push forward with a public consultation to renew the licensing scheme for smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as the current scheme comes to an end on the 31st December 2018. The proposed fees will range from £1000.00 to £1,720.00 a property.

Selective Licensing allows Councils to make designations based on factors such as high crime, low housing demand, anti-social behaviour, or where landlords fail to act to combat problems with houses they let. A designation can be made for a maximum of 5 years, however can be lifted sooner if it is felt that the problems within the area have been significantly reduced.

The Selective Licensing scheme, the largest designation outside London will impact over 32,000 privately rented family homes representing 91% of the non-HMO rental market across Nottingham. The Council’s argument for the scheme is to improve the standards in the private rented sector and to ensure effective management of these properties through more extensive control. They believe the scheme will contribute to tackling and reducing crime, disorder, and anti-social behaviour and will help the Council engage, build and nurture positive relationships with new and existing landlords.

The Council intend to inspect up to 50% of the properties throughout the 5-year licence period to ensure they are meeting their obligations to protect and safeguard tenants from criminal landlords.

The submission for Nottingham’s citywide scheme was made on 6th October 2017 to the Ministry Housing, Communities Local Government (MHCLG) and on 8th February 2018 the Council was notified by MHCLG that the Designation may proceed.

The fees will range from £480.00 to £780.00 depending on the accreditation status of the landlord. The fees can be paid in two parts; on licence application and then on notification a licence will be issued.

Licence applications will only be accepted online from 1st July 2018, with the scheme coming into force on 1st August 2018. Applications must be made before 1st August 2018 to prevent a risk of heavy fines. The licence holder must ensure all enclosures including a criminal record and electrical safety certificate accompany the online application. There is an extensive range of conditions the landlord will be responsible for ranging from developing a robust plan to tackle tenant behaviour to dealing with tenant rubbish.

Section 257 buildings currently under the existing HMO Additional licensing scheme will be transferred into the Selective Licensing scheme.

The cost burden to the Private Rented Sector in Nottingham will be significant as landlords and agents will not be able to absorb all the costs associated with Selective Licensing as part of the cost of running their business.  Regrettably, landlords will be left with little choice other than to impose above inflationary rent increases across the City as a way of recouping some of these costs back.

To help landlords and agents understand the implications and complexities of these schemes EMPO is hosting several two-hour workshops in Nottingham

The objective of the Selective Licensing workshop is to explain, step-by-step, exactly what landlords need to do to initially get their properties licenced, along with the ongoing requirement to manage and maintain their properties within the scope of the scheme.

There will be Q&A’s along the way, and attendees will leave with a full practical understanding of what is required in time for the August 1st deadline.

The dates and venue are as follows:

Monday June 18th, 2018 (1:30pm – 3:30pm, 4:30pm – 6:30pm)
Tuesday July 10th, 2018 (11:00am – 1:00pm, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, 4:30pm – 6:30pm)

Castle Cavendish Works, Dorking Rd, Nottingham NG7 5PN

£10.00 per delegate

EMPO members FREE

To reserve your place CALL- 0115 950 2639

The above is a guest blog written by Giles Inman at EMPO. For further advice or information on the above contact EMPO on 0115 9502639