Back in 2014, Ryder & Dutton reported that Oldham Council were to introduce a selective licensing scheme for private Landlords under the Housing Act 2014. The selective licensing scheme began on 1st May 2015 and was phased in across the borough.
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
Under this scheme private landlords who rent out a property which falls within the designated area are required to apply for a license. This license costs £490 per property and will last for 5 years. The local authority introduced the scheme for landlords in a bid to improve the management of properties and flush out rogue landlords and irresponsible tenants.
Oldham Council has successfully prosecuted a number of private landlords after they failed to obtain licenses for the properties they rent out and so landlords need to be aware of the scheme.
It is a criminal offence to operate a privately rented property without a license in these areas. A landlord will also commit a criminal offence if they fail to comply with any of the conditions of a license granted to them.
On Friday, May 13 the first three landlords who have failed to license their properties were prosecuted at Oldham Magistrates’ Court. Each one had ignored letters from the council informing them that they needed to sign up to the scheme.
The license fee is £490 per rented property. The fee can either be paid in its entirety on application – or there’s an installment option of paying half of the license on application and the remaining half of the fee six months from the application date. The fee covers five years.
Landlords are strongly recommended to read the information that sets out below the additional responsibilities they will now face as the owner of a licensed property in a selective licensing 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 license 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 license is not in place then the landlord may be liable to a very substantial fine.
Ryder and Dutton are doing our up most 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