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Nottingham: Private landlords selective licensing fees updated

Nottingham City Council has updated its fee structure for selective licensing, a move that aims to balance the estimated income and expenditure for the scheme.

Details of the Decision

The revised fee structure pertains to the Selective Licensing Designation made by the Council on January 17, 2023, and confirmed by the Minister of State for Housing and Planning on July 26, 2023.

As the revised fee structure increases the
income / expenditure by £200,060 the decision to implement it needs approval by
the Corporate Director. The estimated number of licence applications and
proposed Part A and B fee structure are detailed below:

Screenshot 2023 09 06 at 14.33.13

The decision was made following a review of the initial Fee Policy approved in January 2023. The review took into account the proposed national pay award for the current financial year and led to an increase in both the estimated income and expenditure for the scheme.

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Reasons for the Update

The Council had initially approved the making of a Selective Licensing Designation in January 2023. However, due to the size of the Designation, it required confirmation from the Secretary of State. The Minister of State for Housing and Planning confirmed the Designation in July, allowing it to take effect from December.

The review of the fee structure was necessary to ensure that the estimated income matches the expenditure. The Council aims to make the scheme cost-neutral, and the revised fee structure is expected to achieve this balance.

Other Options Considered

The Council considered two other options before settling on the revised fee structure:

  1. Do Nothing: This option was rejected because it would not recover all relevant costs, potentially impacting the scheme’s long-term financial viability.
  2. Regular Monitoring: The fee will be regularly monitored against the 5-year projections for license income and scheme expenditure to trigger further reviews if needed.

Legal and Financial Implications

The Council has followed the LGA guidance on locally set license fees and other relevant legislation. The decision is considered lawful and follows a best practice approach to calculation.

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© westbridgfordwire.com

More information from the July 2023 announcement below:

A new licensing scheme will come into force in the winter to improve private rented property in Nottingham.

The City Council scheme, known as Selective Licensing, starts on December 1, 2023, and covers an estimated 30,000 privately rented homes across most areas of the city.

It aims to give private tenants better quality accommodation and management as well as protection from bad landlords.

Tenants will also know what is expected of their landlord in terms of the maintenance, safety and management of their home. It will be introduced into areas of the city where the council has gathered evidence of poorer property conditions.

Rented properties are more likely to have dangerous hazards which could include electrical, gas, fire safety, damp and mould issues.

Selective Licensing will help ensure these issues are addressed, as landlords of privately rented properties in certain parts of the city must now meet a set of conditions and ensure good management of their properties.

Councillor Jay Hayes, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“People in Nottingham have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation, which is well managed and maintained.

“Having a licence will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide decent quality accommodation for tenants, and we will work with landlords to support them to achieve the licence conditions. We believe the scheme will improve the reputation of private landlords, as well as Nottingham’s reputation for providing quality housing.

“The scheme is a major step forward in improving living standards for many Nottingham residents.”

Councillor Hayes added: “The cost of licensing will be reduced for landlords who have Nottingham Rental Standard Accreditation via DASH or Unipol.”

Anyone who receives rent on private property in Nottingham should check if they need a licence – it is a legal requirement to apply once the scheme is in force if you are in the designated area.

Landlords who have properties licensed in the first scheme will not need a new license until their current licence expires. Landlords who have not previously licensed their properties or have new properties within the designation (scheme area) will need to apply.

Income from the licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and delivering the scheme.

The City Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.

If landlords do not apply for a licence, they risk fines of up to £30,000 or prosecution through the courts. Failure to comply also means that tenants can apply to a tribunal to claim their rent back for up to 12 months.

The current Selective Licensing Designation which started on August 1 2018 will end on July 31 2023, but the scheme will continue to inspect properties whose licence runs beyond July 31 2023.

If landlords have a property which is currently licensed they should check whether it will be covered by the new scheme and if it is they will not need to apply for another licence until their current one expires.

Anyone with a current Selective Licence will not need to reapply until their current licence expires.

Landlords can find out if their property is covered by Selective Licensing (current and new scheme) at geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/.

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