What Every Tenant Needs to Know About the New Landlord Licensing Scheme Reviewed by Momizat on . Right across the UK, housing has become more expensive and for the first time, the average asking price for a property has exceeded £250,000. For young people l Right across the UK, housing has become more expensive and for the first time, the average asking price for a property has exceeded £250,000. For young people l Rating: 0
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What Every Tenant Needs to Know About the New Landlord Licensing Scheme

Right across the UK, housing has become more expensive and for the first time, the average asking price for a property has exceeded £250,000.

For young people like students, those who work in minimum wage employment or on a zero-hours contract, the only viable option is to rent.

However, in heavily populated towns and cities, the thousands of individuals or families who rent their accommodation are becoming increasingly vulnerable to bad landlords who supply low quality, poorly maintained, inadequate housing in areas where crime and anti-social behaviour is high.

Reports of some tenants being forced to share cramped, unsecured space in a property with a number of strangers, where they must endure anti-social behaviour, noise, mould, rats, or even resort to renting outbuildings, are becoming more common.

Solving the nation’s housing crisis will take time, but until a solution – or a number of them – is found, local authorities are being giving new powers to protect tenants by identifying, monitoring and tackling unscrupulous landlords under the new Landlord Licencing Scheme.

The scheme, which was trialled in the London Borough of Newham has already had success at dealing with ‘problematic landlords’ and is now being adopted by various local councils across the country.

New Landlord Licensing Scheme

But how will it benefit tenants?

At present, almost anyone can become a landlord, but under the new scheme, only those who demonstrate the ability to provide and maintain quality housing in selective license areas – those that have a large percentage of rented homes – will be eligible for a licence to rent out accommodation.

Landlords must apply for an individual licence for each property they let, so a bad landlord can’t rely on one property in their portfolio to act as an example of the rest, each one must meet strict licensing criteria.

When applying for a licence, the landlord or agent is subjected to a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check to make sure that they are a ‘fit and proper’ person who is not letting properties for illegal gain or has a history of any discriminatory or illegal landlord practices.

Once their capacity to manage rental accommodation properly is established, they must be able to prove that their properties are in a good state of repair and show that any gas or electricity supplies are certified as safe.

Furthermore, to qualify for a licence, landlords must also demonstrate that they vet their tenants thoroughly to manage anti-social behaviour and show that they have policies and procedures in place for tackling any issues in the future.

Any landlords who can’t satisfy this criteria will be denied a licence and if they continue to operate, face hefty fines of up to £20,000 and the possibility of a local authority seizing control of their properties and issuing orders for them to refund up to 12 months’ rent to their tenants.

Although individual councils have the choice whether or not they implement the new Landlord Licensing Scheme, it’s anticipated that most will, even if it’s just to reassure locals or students moving into major towns and cities that safe, clean, quality accommodation will be available to them.

Pickard Properties, are one landlord based in Leeds who have already signed up, making them one of the first few landlords in West Yorkshire to have all their properties licenced. To find out about the accommodation they have available, visit their website or call directly on 0113 246 9395.

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