4th May 2023|Birmingham|News|Lettings|

Birmingham Selective Licensing – What You Need To Know

Last year, the UK government gave Birmingham City Council (BCC) permission to operate a selective licensing scheme, which the Council have confirmed will commence on the 5th June 2023.

Birmingham City Council have now opened applications for their selective licensing scheme at the start of May, earlier than the anticipated end of May date, allowing landlords across the 25 included wards to start applying for their license.

What Is The Birmingham Selective Licensing Scheme?

The Birmingham Selective Licensing scheme requires landlords within certain wards across the city to obtain a license as a prerequisite to letting out a privately-rented property. The Council have said the purpose of the scheme, which has already been rolled out across many other towns and cities across the UK, is to improve the quality of Private Rental Sector (PRS) properties. The incoming scheme is intended to ensure that tenants have the peace of mind that the properties they are considering renting are compliant with building health and safety standards.

How Much Does A License Cost?

Each license costs £700 and is eligible for up to five years. If you own multiple properties or are a portfolio landlord, you currently require a license for each individual property you own, and there are no discounts available for purchasing multiple licenses. However, this is something Centrick and other leading Birmingham agents remain in discussion with the Council about.

Which Birmingham Wards Are Included In Selective Licensing?

Still wondering if your property requires a license? To see all wards and areas that need a license you can see the official guidance here: Check out the Birmingham City Council postcode checker to see if Birmingham Selective Licensing applies to you.

What Do I Need To Apply For A License?

To apply for Birmingham licensing, the council has said landlords or their agents need to provide details on the following:

  • name and contact details of anyone associated with the property (owner, mortgage company, freeholder)
  • the date of birth of the prospective licence holder
  • a property floorplan with specific room measurements and placement within broader complex, if applicable
    • As 24th May 2023 Birmingham City Council have confirmed that a floorplan is not strictly essential for Selective Licence applications, but have confirmed that specific room measurements are still required along with other property specific information.
  • most recent electricity installation inspection and test certificate
  • most recent gas safety certificate (if applicable)
  • card details to pay the licence fee

If you are using a floor plan it’s worth noting that most basic floorplans you may already have from your original property purchase do not hold the level of detail asked for by many councils who are already operating a licencing scheme in other areas of the country. As 24th May 2023 Birmingham City Council have confirmed that a floorplan is not strictly essential for Selective Licence applications, but have confirmed that specific room measurements are still required along with other property specific information – Centrick’s Property Licensing compliant Inspection Report ensures that all requirements are fully managed.

Important Dates:

If your property needs a landlord licence, here are the dates you need to know:

  • May 2nd: Online application portal launches (*update* there currently seems to be a delay progressing initial login information from the council. The Centrick team will keep you posted on this channel
  • June 5th: Birmingham licensing scheme comes into effect
  • September 4th: Birmingham City Council to start enforcing

The team at Centrick have already started to collate the application data for all our landlords that have already requested that we process the application for them. Another date for the diary is the 30th June, when any Centrick landlord wanting to process the licence themselves, will need to have sent Centrick proof of completed application. From the 1st July, Centrick will begin processing all outstanding applications to ensure all our landlords’ managed properties are protected and aren’t at risk of a fine.

Are There Any Exemptions?

If your property is a HMO or registered with a local housing association, you will be exempt from needing a landlord license. However, if you do own a HMO, you may still require an updated license as of June 5th 2023. From the aforementioned date, the definition of a licensable HMO will change to include smaller HMOs housing three or four tenants from two unrelated households that share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms. Akin to the Birmingham Selective Licensing Scheme, enforcement for these licensing schemes will come into effect as of September 4th.

What Happens If I Don’t Purchase A Landlord License?

If you do not purchase a license in time for September 4th, you will  risk being taken to court, faced with a hefty unlimited fine, and/or issued with a rent repayment order (which means your tenant can try and claim back any rent paid during any period of non-compliance).

Complete Your Application With Centrick

If you haven’t dealt with selective licensing before, it can feel daunting. Here at Centrick we have a team of experienced property pros that already deal with other licensing schemes across the country, so whether you want us to manage your licensing application for you or want advice on how to do it yourself, we can help. Please get in touch with the Centrick team as soon as possible to ensure that we can assist you in the completion and submission of your selective licensing application before the cut-off date.

If you’d like us to complete the application for you, please contact us on 0121 347 6116.

Want to apply for a landlord licence yourself? Here are your links to the council’s website:

Selective Licence application

Additional licence application

And, as always, if you need any advice, just drop us a line at lettings@centrick.co.uk

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