New licenses for landlords in Leicester
Posted on 31st August 2022
In a big change for the private rented sector in Leicester, the council are introducing selective licensing for all private rental properties in certain areas of the city.
Parts of the city are going to be restricted by selective licensing, which means that all private residential properties will now need to have individual licenses to allow you to let the property out to tenants.
Every single property you own as a landlord that drops into one of these areas will need to get one of these licenses and every one of the properties needs to have an individual application made, for example, if you have 10 properties that fall into these areas, you will need 10 licenses. The price varies, it is roughly around £1000 per property.
We think this is being done in order to improve housing conditions and weed out what the council believe are the "bad landlords". This will presumably make it easier for the local authority to prosecute those who don't comply with licensing standards. The thinking behind this is that it will make buy-to-let investors think twice about buying property in these areas, which will in theory improve the quality of housing.
The problem is that this could have the unintended consequence of making it harder for people to get on the property ladder in these areas, as potential first-time buyers will be competing with buy-to-let investors who can afford the license fees. It could also make it more difficult for people to move around for work, as they may not be able to find rented accommodation that meets the licensing standards.
The other big issue is that this will push up rents, as investors will pass on the cost of the licenses to tenants. This could price people out of areas that have been designated for selective licensing, and exacerbate the affordable housing crisis.
The council needs to be very careful with this policy, as it could have serious unintended consequences. They need to make sure that they monitor the situation closely and make changes if necessary.
The standard items will all be checked; like tenancy agreement, who is managing the property, boiler, gas safety record, electrical installation certificate, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and overall general upkeep of the property.
The council are looking to make sure all the properties that are being rented out by tenants are in good and suitable condition for what it is going to be used for. They also want to improve relationships between tenants, landlords and the council.
Who can apply?
You as a landlord can apply yourself or if you have a letting agent who fully manages your property they can apply for you. You also have a fit and proper person test undertaken as part of the application.
If you have any criminal convictions in relation to housing, or any other relevant offences, you may not be considered a fit and proper person to hold a selective licence.
Which areas are affected?
All around Narborough Road seems to be impacted; such as, Newfoundpool, Tudor Road, Westcotes and Rowley Fields, as well as all the streets off of Narborough Road. Other areas impacted include Stoney Gate, Saffron Lane and more. The properties in these areas are traditionally older properties which need more maintenance, and the areas included have a lot of rental properties in them. These properties are already being targeted by legislation, as the minimum rating for the Energy Performance Certificate is already increasing, and this is likely to increase in the future.
Landlords with properties in these areas need to be aware of the changes and make sure they comply, as the penalties for not having a licence can be severe. If you are found to be operating without a licence, you could be fined.
If you are a landlord that is worried or concerned or want more information about what the selective licensing means to you then get in touch with your letting agent right now or speak with another letting agent that may be aware of what's going on if you manage the properties yourself. There are a lot of changes happening in the world of being a landlord so make sure you are up to date with everything.
Please note that this is not legal advice, please speak to a solicitor for more information on selective licensing and your obligations as a landlord. Most letting agents will do free inspections and advice on what does and doesn't need to be done to pass the criteria for selective licensing and to make your life easier.
For more information please call 0116 340 9989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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