What is the landlord licensing scheme?

Sections 79, 80 and 81 of the Housing Act 2004 provided for the introduction of a scheme of selective licensing of private landlords in a local housing authority areas.

The Act came into force in April 2006.

Selective licensing allows councils to make it compulsory for every private rented property in a specified area to have a licence. (There are two other types of landlord licensing, mandatory and additional, that only apply to people letting out houses in multiple occupation, or HMOs).

In these areas, a landlord must apply for a licence if they want to rent out a property. This means the council can check whether they are a “fit and proper person”, as well as laying down other requirements concerning the management of the property and health and safety.


What do landlords need to do in order to get a license?

The schemes work in different ways, but things a landlord might be required to provide include :-

a valid gas safety certificate

an electrical installation condition report

a copy of the tenancy agreement and evidence of landlord insurance.

Typically, a licence lasts five years.


Are all councils doing this?

Many councils are doing this but not all.

Some councils only operate the scheme in certain areas within there authority.

You should always therefore check with your local council first.


How much does a licence cost?

There is no standard fee and this has been the source of much criticism.

The fee can range anywhere from £370 to £1000. That is per property!


Can your tentant check if the property is licensed?

Yes. By law, councils have to keep a register.


Fines for failure to comply

Fines for flouting the rules vary as well. Councils can charge up to £30,000 for each offence, although this amount is a deterrent for persistent rogue offenders.

In addition to a fine, offending landlords can be faced with a rent repayment order: Tenants in a property owned by a convicted landlord can apply for a rent repayment order that refunds any payments they have made for up to 12 months retrospectively.


© Thandi Nicholls Ltd 2020 All Rights Reserved – The above articles are provided for guidance only and may not cover your personal circumstances so you should not rely on them. It is important that you seek appropriate professional advice which takes into account your personal circumstances where you can provide the full facts of the case and all documents related to your case. Thandi Nicholls Ltd t/a uklandlordtax.co.uk, K Nicholls FCA or S Thandi cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action or the consequences of deciding not to act.

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