Licence to Let: The new Leicester landlord licensing scheme

Do you know about the latest landlord licensing scheme in Leicester?

The latest landlord licensing scheme is a must-know for Leicester landlords, but there’s an important message for landlords everywhere. 

In October 2022 new renting rules came in for certain parts of Leicester – but the city isn’t the first to make these changes, nor will it be the last. Read on for how selective licensing could affect you.

What’s happening for landlords in Leicester?

As of Monday 10th October 2022, three areas of Leicester city are under selective licensing. This means that any landlord wanting to rent out a property in those areas needs to apply for a licence to do so. 

The licence application costs £1,090 per property, which has raised eyebrows as it’s the most expensive scheme in the Midlands. The scheme has been agreed for five years, after which it will be reviewed.

Private Rental Sector vs Social Housing

Which parts of Leicester are now under selective licensing?

The scheme affects nearly 9,000 properties in selected streets in the following wards:

  • Saffron
  • Stoneygate
  • Braunstone Park
  • Westcotes
  • Fosse
  • Rowley Fields

If you own properties in any of the areas mentioned, you can take a look at Leicester City Council’s map showing exactly where the new rules apply.

Why has selective licensing come to Leicester?

The scheme aims to raise standards in places with a history of low-quality properties. The scheme should also protect tenants from ‘rogue landlords’ whose properties are not up to scratch.

Selective licensing means landlords will need to make sure their ducks are in a row before letting a property. They’ll be expected to demonstrate they’ve dealt with – or will be able to deal with – issues such as:

The Private Rental Sector versus Social Housing

How does selective licensing work?

All private rented properties in the designated areas will need to get a licence from the city council. But some properties are exempt, such as homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) because they are already covered by HMO licences. 

The scheme also means that tenants will be able to check whether their landlord is registered (or has made an application). 

What do I need to do?

First, check whether you have a property in one of the areas affected by licensing. Then get in touch with the council to get the ball rolling. 

From 10th October you have 18 months to apply for a licence. After that, the council issues a £200 penalty fee to anyone renting out property in the affected areas, but potentially landlords can also be forced to pay back 12 months’ rent to a tenant, or could be banned from renting out property in the future.

Some nicer news: Landlords who apply within the first six months of the 10th October launch date will get a 10% discount, and properties with an EPC rating of C or above will get a 10% discount too. 

Staying informed is a critical part of ANY landlord’s duties

Remember, as a landlord you are responsible for ensuring everything is in place, and not knowing isn’t an excuse. That’s why it’s vital to stay on top of updates to local and national laws and legislation.

It’s a good rule of thumb for all landlords to contact their local council every 6-12 months just to make sure no new rules have come in that you might have missed. 

For this and any issues you may be facing as a landlord, remember you can get in touch with the experienced and helpful Mashroom team. We’re bursting with expert advice and invaluable information, and we love to chat.

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