A new licensing scheme is being introduced in Leicester to help improve private rented accommodation in three areas of the city adversely affected by housing-related problems. The scheme will also protect tenants from rogue landlords whose properties do not meet required standards.
Selective licensing requires all private rented properties in the designated areas to be licensed by the city council. These include parts of Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields, Fosse, Westcotes, Stoneygate, and Saffron wards. All privately rented properties in the designated areas are included in the scheme unless they are exempt.
Privately rented properties occupied by five or more people living as two or more households are covered by mandatory HMO licences and are not included in this scheme.
Selective licensing places conditions on landlords to ensure issues such as gas and electrical safety, installation of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are adequately dealt with, along with matters such as repairs and maintenance, waste disposal, tenancy management and issues connected with anti-social behaviour.
The council will only issue a licence once it is satisfied that the points listed below have been met. In the event of any of the issues not being satisfactory the council may decide to impose extra conditions on the licence - or refuse the licence completely:
- The proposed licence holder and proposed manager/agent (if applicable) is a 'fit and proper person'
- The proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- The proposed management arrangements are satisfactory
- Persons involved in the management of the property are competent
- The property is free from Category 1 Hazards as assessed under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Housing Act 2004.
The fee is broken down into two parts; Part A covers the costs associated with processing the licence application and Part B covers the cost of compliance actions relating to the scheme.
The scheme is due to come into force on 10 October 2022 and will run for a period of five years, after which it will be reviewed.