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Selective Licensing Scheme

Introduction

Report a concern about a landlord or property

People can report concerns about a landlord or property by calling the Selective Licensing Team on 01493 846636, emailing slicence@great-yarmouth.gov.uk or completing this form anonymously.

What area is covered by the Selective Licensing Scheme?

Following a stakeholder consultation exercise during summer 2018, Full Council met on 13 September 2018 and agreed to introduce a Selective Licensing Scheme for the most challenged parts of the Nelson Ward. This came into effect on 7 January 2019 and runs for five years.

See the following documents for further information:

What does Selective Licensing mean?

The aim is to improve housing and social conditions for private sector tenants in this area, while tackling unethical landlords.

Since 7 January 2019, the scheme has required landlords of most private rented housing in this area to be licensed and meet conditions around health and safety and standards.

The Council will work with partners to deliver the project, carrying out inspections to identify and work with substandard landlords and to enforce compliance, with financial penalties for those who break conditions or simply fail to apply for a licence.

Regulation around compliant ethical landlords will be light touch. In addition to improving conditions for residents, this approach would create a level playing field for ethical landlords, by discouraging unethical landlords who have an unfair advantage in the market due to their poor practices.

What properties are exempt from Selective Licensing?

Among the properties legally exempt from Selective Licensing (opens new window) are:

  • owner-occupied properties
  • Council owned or managed homes
  • housing association homes
  • properties already subject to mandatory HMO licensing

How do I apply for a Selective Licence?

The Council encourages all landlords to join a Landlord Support Service, run by the The Home Safe Scheme (opens new window), and to apply for a Selective Licence through them. This will give landlords access to a wide range of offers, services, and discounts, landlord advice and training, plus the facility for low application fee and monthly payments, rather than paying the entire cost up front.

Fees for five year licence and payment options
Property TypeMonthly - Landlord Support SchemeUpfront - Landlord Support Scheme
Single occupancy household
For each dwelling which is occupied by a single household (eg house, self-contained flat or non self-contained flat)
£90 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month

£515 (£90 + £354.17 plus VAT)

Buildings containing flats where the landlord owns the freehold(1) 
A single licence will be issued covering all of the flats within the control of the landlord
£90 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month for first flat
and then
£80 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month for each additional flat within the same building
£515 (£90 + £354.17 plus VAT)
and then
£505 (£80 + £354.17 plus VAT) for each additional flat within the same building
Buildings containing flats where the landlord owns more than one flat in a building without owning the freehold
As the landlord does not own the freehold, then each flat will require an individual licence
£90 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month for first flat
and then
£80 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month for each additional flat within the same building
£515 (£90 + £354.17 plus VAT) for first flat
and then
£505 (£80 + £354.17 plus VAT) for each additional flat within the same building
Reduced rates options
Reduced Rates(2)Monthly - Landlord Support SchemeUpfront - Landlord Support Scheme
Accredited membership of selected organisations
Reduced fees will apply to accredited members of one of the following organisations:
  • National Landlords Association
  • Residential Landlords Association
  • National Approved Lettings Scheme
£70 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month£495 (£70 + £354.17 plus VAT)
Early application reduced fee
Applies to all licence applications received and fully completed with all requested documentation by the 7 April 2019 (ie within three months of the designation of the scheme)
£70 + £9.50 (£7.92 plus VAT) per month£495 (£70 + £354.17 plus VAT)

Notes

  1. This only applies where the applicant is in control of the whole building (eg a landlord who owns the whole block). In cases where the applicant has one or more flats within a building, but do not have full control of the block, then the applicant will require individual licence applications for each flat in the block.
  2. Where applicable, all reduced rates can apply to the same licence application. In the case of multiple flats within the same building where the landlord is not the freeholder, the rate will only apply to the initial application.

With what Selective Licensing conditions do I need to comply?

The proposed Selective Licensing conditions include the six mandatory conditions required under the Housing Act 2004, which may be included in all housing licences. These require minimum legal standards and obligations with respect to:

  • gas
  • electrical appliances and furniture
  • smoke alarms
  • tenant references
  • terms of occupation
  • carbon monoxide alarms

The proposed Selective Licensing conditions also include additional conditions that a Local Housing Authority may apply to Selective Licences; there are 16 such conditions requiring reasonable standards and obligations with respect to:

  • furniture and furnishings
  • fire safety
  • terms of occupation
  • property repairs
  • energy efficiency
  • number of occupiers
  • security
  • alley gates
  • external areas
  • refuse and waste
  • management of antisocial behaviour
  • competency of licence holder
  • absence
  • compliance and cooperation with the authority
  • disclosure and notification/consultation of changes
  • removal from The Home Safe Scheme

As the Council is the Licensing Authority, these Selective Licence conditions will apply to all licences, whether the licence has been gained through membership of The Home Safe Scheme or from directly licensing with the Council.

You can view the conditions in full here (PDF) [268KB] (opens new window) .

Can I get a licence directly with the Council?

Applicants may also approach the Council direct, with applications made through the Licence Finder Service on the GOV.UK website (opens new window)

Read these instructions (PDF) [447KB] (opens new window)  if you have difficulties downloading the form from the GOV.UK website; if your problems persist, please contact the Selective Licensing Team.

Please be aware that licence holders who don't join the Landlord Support Service, and apply for a licence directly with the Council, will get none of the benefits such as access to a range of offers, services, and discounts, landlord advice and training. Nor is there an option for monthly payment. They would also be inspected by Environmental Health Officers, so if issues are significant enough enforcement action may be necessary in the first instance, rather than the landlord development and support plans provided by the Landlord Support Service.

How much will I pay for a Selective Licence direct with the Council?

Fee for a Selective Licence direct with the Council
Property TypeFive year licence fee
Single occupancy household
For each dwelling which is occupied by a single household (eg house, self-contained flat or non self-contained flat)
£515
Buildings containing flats where the landlord owns the freehold(1) 
A single licence will be issued covering all of the flats within the control of the landlord
£515 and then £505 for each additional flat within the same building
Buildings containing flats where the landlord owns more than one flat in a building without owning the freehold
As the landlord does not own the freehold, then each flat will require an individual licence
£515 for first flat and then £505 for each additional flat within the same building

There is no option to pay monthly for licences directly with the Council.

Fee for a Selective Licence direct with the Council
Reduced Rates(2)Five year licence fee
Accredited membership of selected organisation
Reduced fees will apply  to  accredited members  of  one  of  the  following organisations:
  • National Landlords Association
  • Residential Landlords Association
  • National Approved Lettings Scheme
£495
Early application reduced fee
Applies to all licence applications received and fully completed with all requested documentation by the 7 April 2019 (ie within three months of the designation of scheme)
£495

Notes

  1. This only applies where the applicant is in control of the whole building (eg a landlord who owns the whole block). In cases where the applicant has one or more flats within a building, but do not have full control of the block, then the applicant will require individual licence applications for each flat in the block.
  2. Where applicable, all reduced rates can apply to the same licence application. In the case of multiple flats within the same building where the landlord is not the freeholder, the rate will only apply to the initial application.

How do I comply with the law around Selective Licensing?

All non-exempt, privately-rented dwellings within the Selective Licensing Designation area must now be licensed. The licence conditions must be complied with by the licence holder.

For avoidance of doubt, a dwelling is not Selectively Licensed in compliance with the law until:

  • a complete application is submitted to the Council
  • the licence fee has been paid
  • the licence consultation with interested parties has been completed (this may take over three weeks)
  • the licence is issued by the Council

It is a criminal offence for such dwellings to be unlicensed.

What are the penalties for not having a Selective Licence?

Penalties for not having a Selective Licence
PenaltyAmount
Late Application
Applications received six months after commencement of the scheme (ie 7 July 2019)
£1,000
Applies to each licence application
Finder's Fee
Applies where a licensable property is identified by the Council after 7 July 2019 and no application has been submitted; landlords who have failed to licence any such property may also be subject to prosecution by the Council
£1,000
Applies to each licence application

Incomplete application
Examples of incomplete application:

  • incomplete information
  • application form not signed
  • failure to provide certificates and requested documentation within an agreed timescale
£25
Applies to each licence application

Please note that applicants will not be entitled to reduced fees where a penalty fee has been applied.

Tenants and residents

The benefits and expected outcomes of Selective Licensing for tenants, residents and the wider community are:

  • reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB)
  • better housing conditions
  • better tenancy management
  • better support
  • more cohesive and sustainable communities
  • reduced deprivation
  • increasing property values

 

Frequently asked questions:

If landlords do not comply with the licence conditions, who do I complain to?
Most landlords have joined the 'Landlord Support Scheme' offered by our 'delivery partner' The Home Safe Scheme (THSS), which means that inspections and complaints will be dealt with by them (though the Council remains the Licensing Authority and is responsible for enforcement). For the minority of 'direct' licences with the Council, we will deal with inspections and complaints. THSS and the Council can be contacted as follows:

How does my landlord prove they have a licence?
Licence holders must provide a copy of the licence to single households or display a copy within shared households. If they do not, ask your landlord or letting agent to provide a copy, and, if they refuse, contact THSS or the Council as appropriate.

If landlords should be in the scheme but are not, what is the procedure?
If landlords do not have a licence, then complaints can be made to the Council via:

  • email slicence@great-yarmouth.gov.uk 
  • telephone 01493 846636
  • eform which allows anonymous reporting if you are concerned about reporting, though under data protection legislation, the Council cannot and will not disclose your details without your consent anyway; either submit through My Account (opens new window) or, if you wish to report anonymously, then use this form

Will landlords be passing the costs onto tenants?
We expect that most landlords will not pass on the cost of their Selective Licences to their tenants. Most Selective Licences will be paid for by the low monthly payment option of £9.50 per month. This cost can be partly or fully offset by the discounts and incentives available to landlords (eg discounts at B&Q, on mortgages, and insurance). Landlord tax changes have not led to rent increases in Great Yarmouth.

I am a tenant - what will I need to do under the Selective Licensing Scheme?
You will need to co-operate with your landlord to comply with the licence conditions, for example around anti-social behaviour, waste, and overcrowding, so you will be asked to sign agreements with your landlord. If you fail to comply, your landlord must work with the Council and the Police to resolve the problem. If problems persist, or in the worst cases, this may result in your eviction.

My neighbours commit crime and ASB - can Selective Licensing help?
The intention is to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, so Selective Licensing will help if everybody plays their part. Landlords are expected to work with the Council and Police to deal with anti-social tenants in an appropriate way. This may include eviction if tenants continue to act anti-socially and cause a nuisance in the area. If a property is owner/occupied, the authority has enforcement powers to investigate and address ASB complaints.

Can you help with other issues that I or my family need help with?
Part of the intention of the scheme is to identify issues that tenants may be facing, such as physical and mental health, debt, social concerns, skills and education, and with their consent, put them in touch with the Council's 'Neighbourhoods That Work' partners and other organisations that may help them. THSS Housing Inspectors, or Council officers, are happy to take details of your concerns.

How is my submitted data used by the Council?

You can find out more about how your data is used in our Selective Licensing privacy policy.

Selective Licensing Public Register

You can check entries on the Council's Selective licensing public register.

If you think there is an unlicensed property (one that is not on the register), you can report it by:

Guidance and forms

Further information

Due to the current government lockdown, routine inspections of properties in the Selective Licensing area have been suspended. However, where it is identified that there may be imminent health risks to the tenant(s) of a property due to its condition, an inspection will be carried out in accordance with current government guidance.

This page will continue to be updated with further information as it becomes available.

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