Selective Licensing of Private Rented Sector Property in Leicester

Leicester: Selective Licensing of Private Rented Sector Property

The text below is from the Leicester Council:

We previously advised you regarding the proposals to bring in a scheme to regulate privately rented properties in Leicester.

Leicester City Council has approved the designation of selective licensing at full council on 7 July 2022 within three (3) areas (Clusters) within Leicester which are within parts of the Wards of – Stoneygate (East Cluster); Westcotes, Fosse, Braunstone Park & Rowley Fields (West Cluster); Saffron (South Cluster)

For further information, visit the site: www.leicester.gov.uk/selectivelicensing

 What does licensing in the private rented sector involve?

Licensing of private rented properties involves landlords obtaining a licence for the property they are renting out. (Except where certain exemptions in law apply) The licence attracts a fee and is obtained through an application to the local authority.

If the application is successful, a licence is provided that contains conditions that the landlord must ensure are complied with these relate to things like gas and electrical safety, but also, where relevant, other matters such as measures to repair and maintain the property and help prevent anti-social behaviour are required.

We want the private rented sector in Leicester to provide the best homes for people to live in, and we believe selective licensing will help us achieve this.

Selective licensing requires all privately rented property in a designated area to have a licence from the council, except for several exemptions.

This is in addition to the mandatory licensing scheme, which requires Houses in Multiple Occupation (where more than five people are living as two or more families who share facilities – e.g. bathrooms, kitchens etc.) that is already in place in the city.

The selective licensing scheme will be operational from 10 October 2022, following a standstill period required by law of three months, and will last for a period of five years until 9 October 2027 unless terminated early by the council.

The combined area of the schemes covers less than 20% of Leicester’s geographical area and less than 20% of privately rented homes in the local authority area and therefore does not need the permission of the Secretary of State.

The decision by the council made on 7 July 2022 highlighted poor property conditions, anti-social behaviour (for example, noise, fly-tipping, accumulation of waste, poor waste management and problems associated with rodents) and areas of deprivation. The use of selective licensing is an addition to other courses of action that we utilise.

By law, it is our duty to notify you of the outcome of the consultation with any affected persons such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, charities, universities, Police, Fire Service, local councillors etc.

This letter has been sent to all properties within the designated areas and all respondents via the contact method during the consultation.

If your home is privately rented, your landlord will be required to apply for a licence for the property. Failure to licence the property is a criminal act and may be prosecuted and may receive an unlimited fine or incur a civil penalty as an alternative to prosecution, which may be a fine of up to £30,000.

In addition, failure to apply may also allow the tenant to apply for a rent repayment order of up to 12 months.

If you wish to know more, please visit www.leicester.gov.uk/selectivelicensing

Tony Cawthorne

Selective Licensing Project Manager, Leicester City Council

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