As one Midlands city, Nottingham, edges ever closer to implementing Selective Licensing for all private landlords, Harrison Murray Lettings looks at the potential impact should Northampton follow suit…
Consultation has concluded in Nottingham and subject to central Government rubber-stamping it’s a matter of time – probably around April 2018 – before landlords must obtain an annual licence, at a cost of between £300 and £500, for each property they rent out.
The aim of Selective Licensing is to cut down on the number of ‘rogue landlords’, to improve living standards and address challenges surrounding any anti-social tenants.
Under the system, any landlord that fails to apply for a licence for their property/properties or doesn’t achieve acceptable management standards will be the subject of enforcement action.
Northampton-based HM Lettings is looking to proactively advise any landlords on the subject of Selective Licensing as the local authority may go down the same path as Nottingham.
Lettings manager Lyndell McGall (pictured) said: “As an established letting agency that is part of one of the country’s biggest mutual building societies we are absolutely committed to, and support the idea of, improved living standards for people.
“We want to be forward thinking in informing landlords what could happen in the future and the possible implications for them.
“Ultimately there is a real fear that these increased costs may be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.
“That’s where we feel our expertise in this sector can help – we want to be having conversations about this with landlords, and potential landlords, to help answer any questions they may have.
“Northampton landlords shouldn’t bury their heads in the sand on this one – there’s every chance that Selective Licensing could be coming their way and we can assist them in advance of that potentially happening.
“Most large cities including Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and parts of London – have already started the ball rolling with regards to Selective Licensing and who’s to say Northampton won’t be next?”
She added: “We welcome the conversation and are more than happy to pop the kettle on and have a discussion with anyone who has any questions or concerns.”
Selective Licensing is not to be confused with HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) licensing which already covers shared larger properties such as student housing that are usually over three storeys high and contain five or more occupants.
Anyone that rents out a property is classed as a landlord and must already comply with the following requirements including: keep properties safe and free from health hazards, make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained, provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property, protect the tenant’s deposit in a Government-approved scheme, provide the tenant with a written tenancy agreement and demand a reference for prospective tenants.