Have you heard about the new landlord licensing scheme?
In an attempt to cleanse the community of rogue landlords the government has implemented a new landlord licensing scheme, which means that landlords who operate in certain areas will need the license to ensure they remain legally compliant.
In Rotherham the designated areas are Eastwood, Masbrough, Dinnington and Maltby South East and came into force on the 1st May this year. Landlords who have properties in these areas will now have to have a five-year license, costing up to £625. However, there is a discount of up to £100 if landlords are accredited, the property has been assessed independently against the Housing Health and Safety Rating system in the last 6 months, and is shown to be free of Category 1 hazards.
The penalties for not obtaining a license can also be pretty steep. In an area subject to selective licensing, all private landlords must obtain a licence and if they fail to do so, or fail to achieve acceptable management standards, the authority can take enforcement action, e.g. issuing a fine of up to £20,000 or in some cases, assuming management control of the property.
According to the council the license will benefit tenants and the wider community in the following ways:
• Reduce the turnover of occupiers in domestic properties
• Ensure private landlords are managing and maintaining the property
• Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour
• Make sure minimum standards for rented housing are met.
• Reduce the number of empty properties
How will it benefit Landlords?
• Selective licensing will create a clear set of rules that all landlords must follow.
• Landlords will also have to give and ask for references for their tenants, hopefully ensuring that the tenants they choose will pay the rent and look after their property.
Let us know your thoughts. Do you feel this is a fair way to monitor landlords and ensure they are looking after their tenants and property?