Selective LicensingApply online for a licence
Nottingham City Council has introduced a new licensing scheme, which will mean landlords in most areas of the city will have to obtain a licence for each property they rent out to ensure it meets safety and quality standards.
A licence will last up to 5 years and one licence will be required for each private rented property – not each landlord. Landlords and property managers (person receiving the rent) need to apply for a licence, not tenants.
This handbook has been created to help guide landlords and letting agents through the Selective Licensing process.
Why is Selective Licensing needed?
The council has collected evidence which suggests that too many people in Nottingham are paying rent on private properties which are not safe or of a decent standard. In this video, Steve Matthews, Principal Environmental Health Officer, describes common problems with conditions in private rented properties and how Selective Licensing will help to drive up standards.
When will it start?
The scheme came into force on 1 August 2018.
It is the responsibility of the person who has control of the property (usually the person who receives the rent for the property) to apply to the council for a licence. This can be the owner or manager.
What do I need before I apply?
You will need the following before applying
Proof of right to reside (to live) in the UK
Proof of right to live in the UK for the proposed licence holder and the proposed manager where these are people; if the proposed licence holder or manager is a company then this will not need to be provided. Find out what we accept as proof here.
Gas Safety Certificate
A valid, in date, a satisfactory certificate is required if gas appliances are in the property. More information can be found on the following link: www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
To find out about an EPC and how to get one please go to www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates
Evidence of landlord insurance for the property – this includes public liability insurance
If this is not provided it will be added as a licence condition.
You may also need to provide the following if relevant
- Emergency Escape Lighting Test Certificate (if this is present in the property)
- Fire Alarm Test Certificate where there is a fire alarm control panel
- Most recent portable appliance test (PAT) certificate (If portable appliances are provided by the landlords)
- Building regulations completion certificate and planning consents (If applicable)
- Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken) by the proposed licence holder
- Written Fire Safety Risk Assessment (If applicable)
- Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken) - for example, the DASH online Landlord Development course or EMPO Professional Training for Property Professionals
We have prepared several draft example licences to show the questions that are on the online application form. These can be downloaded below.
Are there any exemptions?
If you are in the process of selling your property and it falls within the designated area you can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN)
You can only make an application if you are the owner or person in control of the property.
A temporary exemption notice lasts for three months. You can renew for an extra three months in special circumstances. If the property still needs a licence after this period of time, you must apply for a property licence straight away.
For more information on temporary exemptions please view the document below.
Does my property require a Licence?
The new Selective Licensing scheme does not cover all areas of the city. It’s estimated to cover over 30,000 privately rented homes in a designated area. It's really important that you check if your property is in a designated area.
Some properties, such as those managed by Housing Associations and Nottingham City Homes properties are exempt from licensing.
How much is a licence?
Licences will cost landlords with Nottingham Standard accreditation £480 or £780 if you haven’t got accreditation.
Fees and Discounts
Table 2: Fees for Selective Licensing
The Council will only give a refund if:
- a duplicate application has been made
- an application has been made for an exempted property by mistake
In addition to the two refund reasons stated we have recognised that awareness of the selective licensing application process takes time for landlords to become familiar with.
Therefore, we have introduced a temporary change to our refund policy where a full or partial refund may be allowed in certain circumstances. This only applies to selective licence applications made up to 31st January 2019.
Requests for refunds received after 31st January 2019 will not be considered. Further details of this temporary arrangement can be found by clicking on the link below.
Many property owners already deliver good quality and well-managed homes and have gained Nottingham Standard Accreditation via DASH or UNIPOL.
Landlords are still encouraged to apply for the “Nottingham Standard” and the many benefits it brings via DASH or Unipol, but after this date, they won’t be able to benefit from a discount on the licence fee.
The Council believes that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent. The Council recognises that some landlords may choose to do this. The Council has worked hard to offer lower fees to accredited landlords, with savings of £300 on the licence applications fee.
If landlords do increase rents, this should be following the correct, legal procedures and should not exploit this opportunity. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.
A paper application carries the additional cost of £100 due to the additional administration costs and processing time required and one can be requested by emailing email@example.com or calling the contact centre on 0115 876 1331
This £100 is split into £35 for the form to be sent out and the remaining £65 is paid with the first part of application fee when the form is returned completed to us.
What if I don't licence my property?
From 1 August 2018 it will be against the law for any landlord to rent out a property in designated Selective Licencing areas without a licence. We will work with other partner agencies across Nottingham to find unlicensed properties and take legal action.
Resources and Good Practice Guides
- Selective Licensing FAQs Updated
- Final Licence Conditions June 2018
- Nottingham Integrated Housing Stock Modelling Report
- Selective Licencing Handbook Revised July 2018
- ASB Guidance for Landlords
- Public Notice for Designation of an Area for Selective Licensing
- Civil Penalties Enforcement Guidance
- Housing Enforcement and Compliance Policy & Guidance
- Public Register of licences
- Temporary Exemption Request Form
- Redacted public register up to March 2019
- How to let by GOV.UK
The Building Research Establishment Private Sector Housing stock survey for the City of Nottingham is now available on Nottingham insight and can be accessed here.
I have a lot of properties to licence
Following legal advice, where there is genuine difficulty for landlords in being able to submit an application in time due to the number of properties, the council is proposing to allow landlords with more than 30 properties and agents with more than 120 properties to apply over 3 months.
This is only in agreement with the council and is subject to the council receiving a full list of the all properties and timescales of when the applications will be submitted. Anything other than this will be considered only in exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis.
Information for tenants
People in Nottingham have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation. The new selective licensing scheme aims to raise housing standards in the private rented sector to provide quality housing for all.
Why the Scheme is needed
Evidence suggests that too many people in Nottingham are paying rent on private properties that are not safe or of a decent standard. A report by the Building Research Establishment (Sept 2016) estimated that 21% of Nottingham’s private rented properties are likely to have ‘Category 1’ hazards including exposed wiring, dangerous boilers, cold bedrooms, leaking roofs, mould or vermin infestation. The full report can be downloaded here.
Landlords who do not apply for a licence or do not meet the required standards may be putting tenants' safety and long term health and wellbeing at risk.
What will it mean for me, if I rent a property in the area enforced by the licence?
- Selective licensing will improve the management of privately rented properties and contribute positively to improving neighbourhoods
- Properties may be inspected at some point during the five year scheme. The Council will notify tenants in writing before it does this. The landlord may be required to make improvements to the property after this inspection
- Homes should be kept safe, secure and in a good state of repair. Tenants may see economic benefits, for example reduced heating bills as house maintenance and conditions improve
- The scheme will also help protect vulnerable groups of tenants, who often live in private rented homes, which are poorly managed and maintained
Will the scheme mean landlords will increase rents?
The licence fee will cost landlords £480 if they have Nottingham Standard accreditation and £780 if they haven’t got accreditation. Licences last up to 5 years.
The Council believes that the fee should not lead to landlords increasing rent. The Council recognises however that some landlords may choose to do this. The Council has worked hard to offer lower fees to accredited landlords, with savings of £300 on the licence applications fee. If landlords do increase rents, this should be following the correct, legal procedures and should not exploit this opportunity.
Income from the licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and delivering the schemes. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.
When will it start?
The scheme will officially start on 1 August 2018, but we will be accepting applications from landlords from the beginning of July 2018.
Where does the money from the licence fee go?
Income from licence fees goes towards the cost of setting up, operating and enforcing the scheme. The Council is not permitted to make a profit from the scheme.
How can I check if a property is included in the licensing scheme?
The scheme covers 90% of rented properties in the city. To find out more and check if a property falls within the licence scheme area, please visit: geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/
If you rent a property, which is within the area covered, ask your landlord if they know about the scheme.
It is a legal requirement for landlords to apply for a licence. Failure to do so can lead to financial penalties of up to £30,000 or unlimited fines if prosecuted through the courts.
Where to go for further help and advice
If you have concerns about how a landlord or agent is managing a rented property, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessing this information
If you need help to understand this information or if you require any of this information in an alternative format e.g. large print, please contact us at email@example.com.
You have a right to request any recorded information held by Nottingham City Council that is not personal information about yourself. Further information on how to make an FOI request can be found here.
Selective Licensing Team: 0115 876 1331, lines are open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
How many landlords have been granted licences under selective licensing schemes since the program begun?
At scheme start date 1 August 2018 the council had received 7,379 applications. However, taking into account applications expected from those with a genuine difficulty (e.g. landlords and managing agents with large portfolios), in applying it should bring the total to 15,000 by 1 November 2018.
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday