BTL landlords in Nottingham will soon face tougher rules with new rental licensing conditions set to be introduced in the city.
The new licensing scheme, which will come into force from 1 August 2018, means that landlords whose properties are in the designated areas, except those which are ‘Homes in Multiple Occupation’ (HMOs) already licensed under an existing scheme, will now need to be licensed through the council and comply with conditions to ensure private tenants are residing in a well managed property that is safe to occupy.
It is estimated that around 30,000 homes lie within the designated selective licensing areas making the scheme the largest of its kind outside of London, affecting about 94% of landlords in the city.
The much-debated selective licensing scheme has not been well received, with a petition launched calling for it to be reviewed.
But with registration for the scheme now open, landlords whose properties are in the designated areas 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 the start of next month.
Failure to comply with the new scheme 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.
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.”
Landlords need to be aware that the cost of licensing each property currently stands at £780 for non-accredited landlords and £480 if accredited with the Nottingham Standard (either Unipol or DASH).
Kingswood added: “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.”