Local authority licensing schemes for landlords
A number of councils are now introducing selective licensing schemes for all landlords who let properties. The schemes are intended to address the impact of poor quality private landlords and reduce levels of antisocial behaviour.
The licence is a legal requirement in the local authorities where it applies – and it could give rise to unbudgeted costs and have a major influence over where landlords choose to buy in the future. Failing to obtain a licence, if applicable, could result in very heavy penalties.
While councils have to consult with tenants/landlords ten weeks before the implementation of the scheme, many landlords who are either not local or do not employ a local letting agent may be unaware that the scheme is going to be introduced.
As well as purchasing an expensive licence, it is often also necessary to vary the terms of tenancy agreements and obtain electricity certificates – which can involve costly rectification work.
To see if you are required to obtain a selective license to let your property please visit your local council website.
If you would like to discuss this process in more detail please contact WMT’s Tax Partner, Anne-Maree Dunn