Does your rental property need a license?
Make sure you know this before letting it out to avoid making a costly mistake…
What is Selective Licensing?
Selective licensing affects private landlords with properties in some local authority areas.
If you have a property in an area where a selective licensing scheme applies, you must apply for a licence in order to be able to rent it out. This means the council can check whether you are a “fit or proper person” to be a landlord, as well as making other stipulations concerning management of the property and appropriate safety measures.
If you fail to obtain a license, or fail to achieve acceptable management standards, the authority can take enforcement action, with civil penalty fines of up to £30,000.
Any council can introduce a scheme if it is satisfied there is a problem with low housing demand or where there are significant and persistent problems of antisocial behaviour.
Is My Property in a Selective Licensing Area?
Given the steep fines, you will need to find out if your property is in an area covered by a selective licensing scheme. As there is currently no countrywide list of schemes, checking with the local council is the safest strategy.
Often a selective licensing scheme will only cover certain wards or areas of a city.
What Must I do?
If you find out you are in a selective licensing area, your council will have an application form to apply for a licence. The fees for this can vary but tend to be around £500 for an ordinary flat or house occupied by one family.
The council will probably want to see copies of safety certificates and to know the location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as details of your tenants and tenancy agreements.
In some cases – for example, if you live abroad – someone else will need to hold the licence. The council will then check that the person making the application is the most appropriate, and is involved in the day-to-day management of the property.
If Your license is granted it will usually last for 5 years from the date accepted.
Do It Yourself
You’re happy to take full responsibility
The Form is highly detailed and will take 5+ hours to complete
You will also be responsible for submitting updated documents, which in some cases is every 6 months
Done For You
Horizon Lets will work with you to get all the documents and oversee the entire application including updating the council as required
For £250 we oversee the whole process and application
We will re-submit documents as required to fulfil the licence requirements
Other Forms of Licensing
There are also other types of property that require a licence, even if they are not in a selective licensing area.
These include large HMOs (houses of multiple occupation), where 5 or more unrelated tenants live together). Smaller HMOs of 3-4 tenants may also require a licence depending on the area, so check with your council.
Remember; If you need a mandatory HMO licence, you do not need a selective licence too.
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