Nottingham Labour has delivered on its 2015 manifesto commitment to introduce a selective licencing scheme to improve the standards of accommodation in the private rented sector of our city.
Most of the standards we are asking landlords to follow are basic safety requirements that anyone would want for their home. These include:
· Ensuring that all gas installations and appliances are in a safe condition at all times and that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
· Ensuring that electrical appliances made available in the house by them are kept in a safe condition and proper working order at all times.
· Ensuring that the electrical installation in the house is kept safe and in proper working order at all times.
· Ensuring that at all times a suitable fire detection and alarm system is installed in the house and is maintained in proper working order.
· Ensuring that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room in the house which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
Licences will cost landlords with Nottingham Standard accreditation £480, the equivalent of £1.85 a week per property over the five years of the scheme and £780, which equates to £3 a week if they haven’t got accreditation. Under current HMRC rules the licence could be classed as an allowable expense and may therefore reduce the tax liability for some landlords depending upon their individual circumstances.
This means there is no justification for rent increases by landlords and that the vast majority of landlords should absorb the licence fee and the cost of any necessary improvements to properties as part of the day-to-day costs of running of their business. Income from the licence fees will only go towards the cost of setting up, operating and delivering the schemes.
Selective licencing is good news for thousands of Nottingham’s private rented tenants, who will know what is expected of their landlord in terms of property management and standards. Rogue landlords will also be investigated and action taken.
It is also good news for responsible landlords who are operating legitimately and complying with the law, as Nottingham’s reputation for providing quality housing increases.
Cllr Jane Urquhart
Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage.