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7th Sep 2023|News|Lettings|Estate Management|

Selective Licensing for Nottingham Landlords: What You Need to Know

Nottingham City Council introduced their selective licensing scheme for landlords and investors in 2018, covering 30,000 homes across the Nottingham region. Some confusion remains regarding the exact reasons for requiring a license, who needs to apply for one, and how, which is why today we’re covering everything you need to know about selective licensing in Nottingham.

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Nottingham Selective Licensing Scheme 2023 Timeline

Nottingham selective licensing commenced in 2018 – however, this first round has now concluded and is being replaced by a secondary round. On December 1st 2023, the second round of Nottingham selective licensing will begin. This is after the first round of licensing concluded on July 26th 2023.

For those with an expired license, it is recommended that you wait until after September 1st 2023 to renew. This is because Nottingham City Council are streamlining the application process to make it quicker and simpler for landlords. If you already have a valid license, you do not need to renew this until it expires.

What Is Selective Licensing?

Selective licensing is a scheme wherein landlords of properties that fit a certain criteria within a specific area – in this case, Nottingham – are legally obligated to obtain a license in order to be able to legally rent out the property to tenants.

Selective Licensing For Blocks

If you own an entire block of properties and it is under common control and management, you will be able to apply for block licensing. This is not the same as landlords that have a portfolio of properties across Nottingham – in this case, each unit will require its own license and no discounts will be available.

Why Has Selective Licensing Been Introduced?

The selective licensing format was introduced in April 2006 as a means of identifying any rogue landlords that promote bad living standards and do not abide by tenancy regulations, by implementing steps to verify the safety and legitimacy of their rental properties.

Selective licensing is nothing new – in fact, it’s in place across many parts of England in order to monitor the rental sector and ensure high standards. In fact, the scheme is not exclusive to Nottingham: Wolverhampton and Tunstall are other Midlands regions that utilise the scheme.

How Do I Know If I Need A Selective License?

If you own a property that is currently being rented by tenants in the Nottingham area, you will require a license under Nottingham City Council. Selective licenses are applicable in the following conditions:

  • Your property is inhabited by a sole occupant
  • Your property is inhabited by two unrelated occupants (colleagues, friends)
  • Your property is inhabited by a family unit

If your tenants do not fit into any of the aforementioned categories, an alternative form of license may be necessary: find out more about other available licenses via Nottingham City Council’s website.

If you are a portfolio landlord, or own more than one property, you will require one licence per property: one license cannot be transferred to another property, or across your property portfolio.

The scheme applies to 90 per cent of private rental properties in Nottingham, so chances are you’ll require one: speak to a member of the Centrick Nottingham team if you require further clarification.

What Will I Need For A License?

Landlords will require a form of identification, an Energy Performance Certificate for the property in question, and a Gas Safety Certificate if this is applicable. The license will also cost a fee of £890, to be renewed every five years.

Are There Exemptions?

There are some households that do not require a selective license. As stated above, other forms of licenses are available for tenancies that do not fit into the three categories of ‘single occupant’, ‘unrelated duo’, or ‘family unit’. This is because these properties will be classified as HMO’s, and will therefore require Additional Licensing or Mandatory Licensing. However, if your property is managed by a Housing Association or Nottingham City Homes, you will not require a selective license.

It’s also vital to ensure that your home is eligible for a license – check out Nottingham City Council’s property check tool here to determine whether you will require a license.

What If I Don’t Get A License?

If you are eligible for a property license, and you choose not to obtain one, you will be in breach of the law. Legally, no tenants will be able to live at your property until a license has been granted. If your tenants find out that they have been residing in an unlicensed property, they are able to demand that their rent is refunded and you could lose your unlicensed properties. Perhaps most worrying is that fact that landlords without the relevant property license can be charged up to £30,000 or an unlimited fine from the court for not abiding by the law.

What Happens Once My License Has Been Granted?

With 35 clauses to adhere to, it’s important that you carefully read through your license and take the relevant measures to ensure that you remain compliant, or risk having your license revoked, being fined or receiving a banning order.

It’s vital that you understand the new regulations that come with the obtaining of a license: for example, there are some clauses which specify limited timescales for maintenance issues to be resolved, which ensures that your tenants enjoy an optimal standard of living. The landlord must also demonstrate their aptitude when dealing with their tenancy by keeping an honest and transparent record of all property-related matters, and by embarking on training courses if and when necessary.

What’s Next?

If you believe your property requires a selective license, visit the Nottingham City Council website to apply for your license here. Paper applications are also available, albeit at an additional cost of £100.

If you require more information on the Nottingham licensing schemes, and what the future of renting looks like in the region, simply fill out the form below and a Centrick team member will be in touch with you shortly. Alternatively, for more pieces like this, check out our blogs on creating a lettings portfolio in Nottingham, or how to choose the right Nottingham letting agent.

 

Nottingham Landlords & Property Developers.