One month to go until the introduction of selective licensing in Nottingham which will affect 94% of landlords in the City.
The clock is ticking down to the introduction of the much-debated selective licensing scheme in Nottingham, with just under a month to go until the scheme becomes compulsory from 1 August 2018.
The scheme has been introduced with the aim of raising standards in the private rented sector and ensuring that all tenants are able to enjoy a safe, comfortable, well-managed home. In Nottingham, an estimated 30,000 homes lie within the designated selective licensing areas making the scheme the largest of its kind outside of London.
Registration for the scheme opened this weekend (1st July 2018) so landlords whose properties are in the designated areas, except those which are ‘Homes in Multiple Occupation’ (HMOs) already licensed under an existing scheme, need to ensure that their preparations to meet the requirements of the selective licensing scheme are well under way.
Whether managing the process themselves or by appointing an agent to act on their behalf, the process should be completed by 1 August 2018. Failure to comply could lead to a civil penalty of up to £30,000, or prosecution on summary conviction which carries an unlimited maximum fine. Landlords may also be prevented from holding a licence in the future.
With a license being required for each property in a landlord’s portfolio, assembling the required documentation and completing the application may be a complicated task.
Adam Kingswood, director of Kingswood Residential Investment Management offers the following advice: “Our advice to landlords is to keep a close eye on the Nottingham City Council website for updates and to use the guidelines which are located on the site to help steer a course through the process.
“Whilst there is undoubtedly plenty of work involved in the process of applying for a licence, reputable landlords will already have most of the required documentation. For example, proof of buildings insurance, gas safety certificates and EPC’s are required amongst other documentation.”
“The difficult requirement may be in providing evidence of ‘landlord training’ which is required but this should not delay the application process. Where this has not been undertaken, the Council will make this a condition on the licence for the licence holder to complete within 12 months and details of suitable training will be required.”
Nottingham City Council have made it clear that there will be no discounts for having multiple properties. However, a discounted fee by having accreditation with bodies such as DASH or Unipol is available.
This means that landlords need to have the budget available to meet the costs of the licence for each property which currently stands at £780 for non-accredited landlords and £480 if accredited with the Nottingham Standard (either Unipol or DASH).
Adam adds: “The introduction of the licensing scheme requires work from all landlords in Nottingham City to take action and register, whether they rent one property or have a large portfolio. My advice is to check if your property falls within the licensing area asap and seek professional advice from an ARLA regulated agent if you need assistance.”