Nottingham Selective Licensing 

Nottingham City Council have announced the introduction of Selective Licensing which will cover 90% of homes in the private rental sector within the city boundary.

This will be implemented from 1st August 2018.

A licence will be a legal requirement for each property that a landlord owns within the Nottingham City designated licensing area. You can check whether your property is in the proposed selective licensing area through the Nottingham City Council website by using the link below:

Final details of the Nottingham City Council Selective Licensing Scheme are still to be clarified but it makes sense for all landlords who have properties within the licensing area, to start the process of obtaining the documents and certificates required to obtain the licence.

**Please note most of the information on Selective Licensing has been taken directly from the Nottingham City council website and is subject to change

In order to apply for a licence you don’t need to be an accredited landlord, however if you do obtain accreditation you will receive a discount on the licence fee. Nottingham City Council runs a voluntary accreditation scheme through the organisations DASH and UNIPOL. The UNIPOL scheme covers student lets only, whereby DASH covers the general private rental sector. Any landlord can apply to sign up for DASH accreditation; however they must abide by a set of regulations known as the Nottingham Standard. These regulations cover far more than just the basic legal requirements and additional requirements stated in the Selective Licensing legislation.

The ‘Nottingham Standard’ regulations extend (but aren’t limited to) areas such as having mains operated fire and heat detectors, minimum room sizes for occupation and a minimum number of power points in certain rooms.

The cost to become DASH accredited is £95.00+VAT and this lasts for three years, afterwards the cost to renew is £45.00+VAT. The discount covers a landlord for up to five properties and in order to receive the discount accreditation must be in place throughout the five year licensing term.

Please note that in order to meet the Nottingham Standard/ DASH’s higher standards of habitation extensive works may need to be carried out on the properties that the accreditation covers.

Because of this the cost of the works required may outweigh any potential discount on the license application from signing up to an accreditation scheme.

Every landlord will have to complete a detailed online application form for each property they own within the catchment area. Nottingham City Council have stipulated that each property application must be supplemented by:

  • Evidence of sufficient landlord insurance for the property, which states the property is designated as a buy-to-let and that there is sufficient public liability cover.
  • Basic Disclosure certificate (a criminal record check) for proposed licence holder and proposed manager:

    Please follow this link for more information: A basic disclosure check costs £25.00 and usually takes 14 days to be processed.

  • Proof of right to live in the UK for the proposed licence holder and the proposed manager where these are people; If the proposed licence holder or manager is a company then this will not need to be provided.
  • Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken) by proposed licence holder, that you have undertaken in the last 3 years please. If training has not been undertaken it will be a condition of the licence that training is undertaken within 12 months of the licence being granted.
  • A valid, in date, satisfactory Gas Safety certificate (If there are gas appliances in the property)
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
  • Most recent portable appliance test (PAT) certificate (If there are portable appliances in the property)

    If a Landlord has chosen to leave electrical appliances in the property, these will need to be subject to a portable appliance test. Nottingham City Council have confirmed to us on the 1st June 2018 that large freestanding kitchen appliances such as a washing machine, fridge/freezer, dishwasher or cooker are not classed as portable appliances so will not need to be tested.

  • Building regulations completion certificate and planning consents (If applicable)

The online application process will be available through the following link, where you will have to register (if you have not already) The online portal will be your one stop shop in relation to all housing licence applications within Nottingham.

Please note the above information has been taken from the Nottingham City Council website.

** there has been an update to Nottingham city council website, they have now added sample application forms you can follow the link below to their page

Nottingham City Council have said that each licence will be £890.00* per property which can be paid in two instalments, £520 on application and then the remaining £320 once the licence is granted. The proposed cost of the licence for landlords, who already have accreditation is £370*.

*Nottingham City Council have advised these costs are subject to change.

All applications need to be carried out on-line from 1st July 2018 and completed applications need to be submitted to the Council by 1st August 2018.

There is no discount for landlords with multiple properties.

Each licence will last for 5 years and is completely non-transferable.

You run the risk of prosecution and a possible unlimited fine. The Council can now issue financial penalties of up to £30,000 for certain offences under the Housing Act 2004. This would be instead of prosecution. It may also affect your ‘fit and proper’ status and your licences will most likely be revoked.
The words used by Nottingham City Council are:-

“Any person who has control of or manages a licensable house without a licence or, being a person on whom restrictions or obligations are imposed under such a licence, fails to comply with the conditions of the licence, will [be] liable to enforcement action. This may be by way of a civil penalty of up to £30,000 or prosecution on summary conviction which carries an unlimited maximum fine. In addition such persons may be prevented from holding a licence and/or may be made subject to a rent repayment order”.

So not only can a landlord be fined for non-compliance, there is also the possibility of having to refund rent to a tenant

The council have also stated that licence holders must reside within the UK. Should you live abroad, you will have to nominate someone living within the UK to be the licence holder*. If this presents an issue, please contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss this matter further.

*Northwood Nottingham Ltd may be your nominated licence holder subject to terms and conditions

Please see below common questions and answers that have been taken from the local authority’s FAQ’s document:

Do I need to tell others, like my mortgage provider, about my licence application?

Licences are legally enforceable and may require changes to the house. People with a legal interest in the property have a statutory right to know how the licence may affect them. This would include mortgage companies, other owners, managers, leaseholders, freeholders etc.

Is the fee refundable if the property is sold within 5 years?

The Council will only give a refund if a duplicate application has been made or an application has been made for an exempted property by mistake.

I am selling a Licensed house, what do I need to do?

Licences are non-transferable. When you sell a licensed house you must inform the Council that you have done so because the new owner will need to apply for a Licence if they are also intending to rent it out.

Is the licence fee tax deductible?

The Council understands that the fee is tax deductible as an expense in running the business, however it is recommended that landlords receive independent financial and legal advice on this.

What happens if I do not comply with the licence conditions?

You run the risk of prosecution and a possible unlimited fine. The Council can now issue financial penalties of up to £30,000 for certain offences under the Housing Act 2004. This would be instead of prosecution. It may also affect your ‘fit and proper’ status and your licences will most likely be revoked.

What changes have the council made to the licence conditions?

1. Proof of building insurance will now only need to show it is for a buy to let property and provide public liability cover. It will no longer need to specify alternative accommodation for tenants in the event of non-habitation (e.g. fire, flood etc).

2. If the licence holder has a current, standard or enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate, it will be accepted as part of the application process provided there are no convictions listed on it.

3. There is no requirement for an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR), although should the property not hold one, it will be rated as higher risk by the Selective Licensing team which increases the probability of it being inspected throughout the licence period. It is worth noting that EICR’s are expected to become a legal requirement across the entire Private Rented Sector from October 2019 so it may still be prudent to get one completed and DASH accreditation still requires an EICR.

4. There is no longer a requirement to fit a thumb turn mortice lock on the front door of the property.

5. Floorplans are no longer required; however, there remains a discussion about whether room sizes will be required as part of the online application form. We are expecting a decision on this imminently.

6. There is no longer a requirement to produce an inventory.

Northwood Nottingham are currently working through how best to help landlords with the process of obtaining a licence.

There will be two options available to landlords who wish to engage us to help:

1:  Northwood will apply for the licence and complete the online application in the name of the owners, this will be subject to all necessary documents being provided to us by July 5th 2018. Due to the time this will take we will need to make a small charge to cover our costs, for more details please contact us.

2:  Northwood holds the licence in their name, this will be subject to terms and conditions and again some documents, for example insurance, will need to be provided to us before July 5th 2018 to enable us to comply with the deadline of 1st August 2018. Due to the responsibility and time this will take there will be a charge to cover our service, for more details please contact us.

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