Oldham Council Selective Licencing

Oldham Council has decided to introduce a selective licencing scheme under the Housing Act 2004.

Under this scheme private landlords who rent out a property which falls within the designated area will be required to apply for a licence. This will cost £490 per property and will last for 5 years.

This link

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/downloads/download/955/selective_licensing_of_private_landlords_street_lists_and_maps

provides access to the Oldham Council website which shows maps of the designated areas and also a street checker. This allows landlords to check if their properties are affected.

At Ryder & Dutton we have already written to our landlords with details of the scheme. There are full details at the end of this blog. However, since we wrote to our landlords the Local Authority has changed the dates on which the licences will be needed. Originally it was for all designated areas from 1st May 2015 but now a phased approach has been adopted. The revised implementation dates are

St Mary’s                                                 1st May 2015

Hathershaw                                            6th July 2015

Waterhead                                              6th July 2015

Hollinwood                                             1st September 2015

Primrose Bank                                        1st September 2015

Coldhurst                                                 1st January 2016

Oldham Edge                                          1st January 2016

Alexandra                                                1st January 2016

In order to apply for a licence a landlord must  complete an application form. These forms are available using this link.

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/downloads/download/941/selective_licensing_application_form

Ryder & Dutton have been in discussions with the Local Authority regarding the simplification of the forms and this process has now been completed and the simplified form is available. Please do not contact us for the information required on Parts 2 and 3 of the form as we are unable to provide this directly to you but you need not bother to complete sections 2 and 3 if we are your managing agents.

For clients with properties in the St Marys area we recommend that you now proceed with your applications as soon as possible.

Ryder & Dutton are unable to complete the application form on behalf of landlords as personal information is required. However our managed clients need not complete Parts 2 and 3 of the form as Ryder & Dutton has already supplied all the required information in those sections directly to the Local Authority. Only sections 1. 4 and 5 need to be completed by our landlords.

Where Ryder & Dutton are the managing agents the landlords themselves must be the licence holder. Ryder & Dutton are not prepared to become the licence holder themselves in any circumstances.

Landlords are strongly recommended to read the information that sets out below the additional responsibilities they will now face as the owner of a licenced property in a selective licencing area.

In particular we draw attention to the need to PAT test electrical appliances provided and also importantly the need to have a 5 year certificate of safety for the electrical wiring. A licence will not be refused if such a certificate does not exist but an undertaking to get one must be given and if the Local Authority inspects the property subsequently and such a licence is not in place then the landlord may be liable to a very substantial fine.

Ryder and Dutton are doing our utmost to help make this process as simple as possible and have undertaken to continue to manage properties in these areas on our clients behalf on the same management terms as previously although we do reserve the right to increase our charges should the requirements of the Local Authority become too onerous.

We would also welcome any new landlords who need assistance with their selective licencing arrangements.

Any further queries regarding the scheme can be made to us on 0161 626 6800

Set out below are more details of the scheme.

Selective Licensing Conditions                                      

In these conditions, the term “house” refers to the building or part of a building, which is licensed under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004.

Housing Act 2004 Mandatory Conditions

Section 90 of the Housing Act 2004 imposes certain mandatory conditions which the Council has no discretion to vary and it gives the Council the power to include such conditions it considers appropriate for regulating the management, use or occupation of the house concerned.

The following five conditions are mandatory conditions imposed by the Act and the Council has no discretion to vary these conditions.

  • A gas safety certificate must be obtained annually and produced to the Council (if there is a gas supply to the house);
  • Electrical appliances and furniture supplied by the landlord must be kept in a safe condition;
  • Smoke alarms must be installed in the house which should be maintained in good working order;
  • The Licence Holder must supply the occupiers of the house with a written statement on the terms of occupation;
  • The Licence Holder must demand references from persons who wish to occupy the house.

In addition to the mandatory conditions outlined above, the Council may attach local conditions. The Council has discretion to vary these conditions with every licence issued; conditions can be added or removed subject to individual circumstances and on appeal. In Oldham, the following local conditions will also apply:-

Local Conditions

  • The House is free from category 1 hazards (this means the house is legally safe to occupy);
  • Any house legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must have one;
  • An appropriate electrical test certificate for the fixed wiring in the house must be provided at least once every five years and an annual portable appliance test be carried out on any portable appliances supplied by the landlord;
  • Where there’s a gas supply, a suitable carbon monoxide detector must be provided, maintained in good working order and tenants aware of its operation;
  • Occupiers are reminded of their responsibilities for the storage and disposal of household waste; Landlords must ensure the correct bins are at the property at the start of the tenancy and carry out regular checks to ensure refuse is being disposed of correctly;
  • Landlords must keep the property free of pests and carry out any pest proofing and treatment needed;
  • The Licence Holder does not knowingly allow the house to be overcrowded;
  • At the change of tenancy the house and any land associated with it is in a clean and tidy condition with reasonable levels of decoration;
  • The property is kept secure and free from accumulations of refuse during vacant periods;
  • A copy of the licence including the conditions attached, is provided to all tenants;
  • All tenants are provided with contact details including emergency telephone number of the License Holder and if applicable the manager;
  • The Licence Holder and any appointed manager provide up to date contact details (including telephone number) to the Council, so that problems can be swiftly addressed;
  • The Licence Holder takes all possible actions to resolve anti-social behaviour and remove occupiers where there is evidence of criminal activity or serious anti-social behavior.

These conditions will be monitored by the Council during the licence period to ensure they are being complied with. Circumstances behind any breach of the licence conditions will be investigated, and any Licence Holder found to be in breach of the licence conditions can face, upon conviction in a Magistrates court, a fine of up to £5,000. In such circumstances, the Council will then consider whether it is appropriate to revoke the licence and make a Management Order to take over management of the property.

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