Chorley – Landlords Legal Responsibilities, Regulations and Obligations.
An increasing number of councils are launching additional and selective licensing schemes as they look to improve standards in the private rented sector.
To date, 70 councils in England – or a little over one in five – have brought in schemes that go above and beyond the mandatory landlord licensing enforced by the government.
MPs have been recently debating on how selective licensing is working in England and reports indicates that landlords are in favour of a “landlord register” and the recommendation is that selective licensing should be implemented.
Below Chorley Council require the following licensing types:
Mandatory – YES (HMOs)
Additional Licensing – Yes (HMOs)
Selective – No (Typical BTL single property)
If unsure you are in a licensing zone, contact your local council or even ask your local letting agent.
So what is this all about?
Section 79 – 81 of the housing Act 2004 provides the introduction of a “landlord licensing” scheme and the ACT came into force in April 2006.
Links: Government – Housing Act – The Rule Book: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/contents
Selective licensing is intended to address the impact of poor quality private landlords and reduce levels of antisocial behaviour. It was primarily introduced to tackle problems in areas of low housing demand in mind– although the Act also allows for selective licensing in some other circumstances.
In areas subject to selective licensing, all private landlords must obtain a licence, Failing to do so could result in heavy-handed penalties up to £30,000
The typical three types of landlord licensing
If you’re letting out a large HMO (house in multiple occupation) you are likely to need a licence to do so. Previously, properties over three storeys high that were occupied by five or more unrelated tenants needed a licence. But from April 2019, the scope of mandatory licensing will be extended to cover properties with shared bathroom facilities.
Additional licensing schemes also apply to landlords letting out HMOs.
The 2004 Housing Act allows local authorities to apply stronger rules in their area if they believe HMOs aren’t being properly managed or that mandatory licensing doesn’t go far enough.
These licences vary in cost from area to area but you are likely to pay £500-£600.
Selective licensing can apply to all landlords in an area.
Before awarding you with a licence, your local council will make you undergo checks to prove you are a ‘fit and proper person’, and you’ll need to agree to adhere to various regulations around property management and tenant safety.
In some areas you’ll also need to sign up to a charter.
Your council will set the cost of the licence, but you could pay around £500-£600.
How to become qualified?
If you are required to have a license, you will need to apply to your local council. Remember the license is one license per property!
Landlords must be able to demonstrate that they are acting within the law and taking appropriate steps to manage their properties, which are defined by the local council.
Each council will have their own set of rules but below is a few of the mandatory conditions which need to be addressed:
- A valid Gas Safety Certificate, if you have a gas supply
- Smoke alarms must be in proper working order
- Electrical appliance and furniture must be in a safe condition (supplied under the tenancy)
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm fitted, if you have a fuel burning appliance / heater attached garage or fireplace
- Tenants supplied with a written statement of the terms of the occupation
- Reference required on the people wishing to occupy the house
- Fitness for human habitation – section 10 of the housing act
- Repair and maintenance – The landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property; baths, sinks and other sanitary items; heating and hot water installations.
- Ensure Plug & Socket comply with the safety regulations 1994
- Tenancy Deposit Protection
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Legionella risk assessment
- Compliance with GDPR regulations
- Register with the Information Commissioner Office.