Landlords of shared houses in some parts of Nottingham are being reminded to check if they need to apply for a licence.
Privately rented shared houses in parts of Arboretum, Dunkirk, Lenton, The Park, Radford, Hyson Green, New Basford, Hockley/Lace Market, Mapperley, Sherwood, Carrington, Wollaton Park, Sneinton and Old Meadows are subject to an Additional Licensing scheme. This was first introduced on a five-year basis in 2014, with a new scheme starting on 1 January this year.
Landlords and agents who hold valid licences under the 2014 – 2018 scheme must apply for a new licence when their current one ends. Some properties, which didn’t require a licence under the previous scheme, may now fall within the new licensable area.
The City Council operates three different types of licensing schemes, depending on the type of property and more than 90% of all privately rented houses in the city now require licensing. All landlords are therefore being encouraged to check if their properties need a licence. They can check this here: https://geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/ or search ‘My Property’ on the Council’s homepage www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Licensing schemes like this set out clear standards and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, and allow action to be taken against problems such as inadequate gas, electrical and fire safety, overcrowding and insufficient facilities, poor internal and external property conditions as well as anti-social behaviour like noise nuisance and waste management. The new Additional licensing scheme aims to:
- Protect the health, safety and wellbeing of tenants and communities by ensuring safe, well-managed properties and higher quality standards within Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the licensable area
- Help inform tenants of what to expect from their landlord and what is expected of them as a tenant, through better communication and management of properties
- Provide increased powers to inspect properties which otherwise would not be inspected unless a complaint had been received
- Provide increased enforcement tools to help tackle rogue, bad and non-compliant landlords
- Ensure the property is safe and of a suitable standard for tenants. This helps landlords find and keep good tenants and helps to raise the profile of good quality private rented accommodation in the city.
Councillor Linda Woodings, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing said: “Poor housing conditions and poor property management can have a serious impact on people’s health and wellbeing, such as accidents and injuries, increased anxiety, stress and depression, respiratory problems and aggravated allergies.
“This scheme is one of a number of initiatives we are undertaking with partners to help improve all types of private rented housing in the city and to help ensure private rented properties are safe, well managed and maintained.
“The previous Additional Licensing scheme had a positive impact on the problems associated with HMOs and we want to ensure this continues for the benefit of landlords, tenants, and the wider local community.”
The reminder comes as the council brings in a new data modelling system which will help them to target high-risk properties that are unlicensed for enforcement action. The Government has provided funding for the scheme which will allow the council and partner organisation to take more efficient and effective action against rogue landlords.
Nottingham also has an accreditation scheme called the Nottingham Standard in order to recognise private rented homes that are well managed and provide a good standard of accommodation with no hazards to safety. When tenants are looking to rent houses, they can ask if the property is accredited, as this gives even greater assurance of its quality. Unipol provide the scheme in relation to student housing while DASH (Decent and Safe Homes) administers the scheme, which covers the whole of the private rented sector.