Presentation on theme: "Landlord Licensing In Salford Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee 18 th June 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Landlord Licensing In Salford Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee 18 th June 2012
Types of Licensing Housing Act 2004 introduced in April 2006 Mandatory House In Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing Citywide Covers HMOs which are 3 storey with 5 or more unrelated tenants Selective Licensing All privately rented properties in Seedley and Langworthy Regeneration Area (now finished) Parts of Broughton Parts of Charlestown and Lower Kersal
Aims of Licensing Mandatory HMO Licensing Improve management standards Property standards – amenities suitable e.g. bathrooms, kitchens Fire safety – appropriate fire safety precautions in place Selective Licensing Improve management standards Tenancy agreement, Gas safety certificate, Landlords to take references
Salford’s Approach Early adoption of legislation Appropriate use: size of areas strength of case Balanced approach: accreditation enforcement regeneration Team 1 x PO 4.5 FTE
What licensing can deliver? Licence Conditions: –5 prescribed conditions ( gas safety certificates, electrical appliances, smoke alarms, tenancy agreements & obtaining references) –Conditions relating to property (Fire alarm certificate, Electrical condition report) –Management of Property (landlord name & address, tenancy in appropriate language, alleygates) –Security (locks, burglar alarm) –Anti Social Behaviour (complaints dealt with appropriately, clause in tenancy) –Occupation (no sleeping in common areas) –Environmental Management (adequate provision of bins, disposal of refuse)
What licensing can deliver? Ensure that property is always covered by a satisfactory Gas safety & Electrical safety certificates: –Landlord Licensing team validate certificate with governing body, i.e. Gas Safe or NICEIC –Refer suspect certificates - Licensing has identified unregistered Gas and Electrical engineers operating in the licensing areas –Ensure any faults on certificates are rectified Anti Social Behaviour – support landlords in taking appropriate action, links with Greater Manchester Police, Anti Social Behaviour Team Refuse – repeat offenders, work with Environmental Services Information - comprehensive database of landlords
Wider benefits of Licensing Landlord Licensing generates up to date and detailed information regarding the extent of private renting in the relevant parts of the city and regarding the spread of houses in Multiple Occupation in particular. This information is regularly shared with colleagues within the Council to inform and assist them with their areas of work. This includes: –Empty Properties -where a landlord seeks an exemption to having a license on the grounds his property is empty a referral is made to Empty Property team to monitor. –Property condition – under the current legislation it is not possible to refuse a license based on general poor condition of a property. However, the Licensing Team works closely with the Housing Standards Team who will take action to address to ensure that owners carry out any works necessary to bring a property to the relevant standards. –Planning Control – Although Landlord Licensing cannot be used as planning control in that it cannot stop landlords renting out properties or to stop a property being converted to House in Multiple Occupation (HMO); the team refer any new HMO’s identified to ensure that they have the correct permissions in place and provide general information on private renting.
How do we find properties? Referrals – Local community, ward Councillors, Greater Manchester Police, landlords Council Tax Land Registry Local Press – managing agents websites Physical survey Links to local teams – Neighbourhood management, Housing standards, Empty property, Anti social behaviour team Ongoing process
Licensing Process Confirm owner details – Land Registry search & Council Tax check Engage with landlord regarding Licensing requirements - letters, calls Offer support - payment options, application assistance Online help and assistance is available Minority of landlords who persistently fail to engage are issued with a number warnings letters explaining the sanctions for non compliance Landlord who does not comply would be invited for a PACE interview under caution Prosecution is considered as a last resort Where there is no reasonable prospect of a landlord obtaining a licence, a Management Order must be considered
How to get a Licence Licence Holder must pass a fit and proper person test – CRB Managing agent must pass a fit and proper person test – CRB Suitable management arrangements in place Supply documents – Gas safety certificate, Electrical installation condition report, Fire Safety Certificate (HMO) Fee – various payment options are available Mandatory HMOs only – Property must pass inspection
Issue of Licences Mandatory HMO Licences: Issued for up to 5 years Set the maximum number of occupants that can live there Issued with 49 conditions (4 prescribed by legislation) Non transferable Selective Licences Issued for up to 5 years (scheme period) Issued with 51 conditions (5 prescribed by legislation) Non transferable
Sanctions/Enforcement Criminal Offence - Fine of up to £20K for not apply for a licence Rent Repayment Order – Pay back upto 12 months Local Housing Allowance Management Order (take control of property for a period of up to 5 years) Criminal Offence – Fine of up to £5K for not complying with licence conditions Proceeds of Crime Act – 1 st case is currently being pursued. This act looks at the benefit (rent) the landlord has received whilst operating illegally. If granted, the landlord may have to repay this benefit which a % would come back to the Local Authority. Could be a substantial amount.
Activity - Broughton Covers parts of the Broughton area Commenced 2 November 2009 up to 2 November 2014 Licences issued – 837 Processing – 52 Chasing – landlords prosecuted for 20 offences 1 landlord prosecuted for changing a Gas Safety Certificate
Activity - NDC Four cluster areas of Charlestown and Lower Kersal Commenced 1 st January 2011 up to 1 st January 2016 Licences issued – 464 Processing – 38 Chasing – 28 1 landlord prosecuted for 2 offences Pending court action in respect of 7 unlicensed properties
Activity to date Seedley and Langworthy Commenced 25 th May 2007 up to 25 th May 2012 Licences issued – landlords prosecuted for 17 offences 2 rent repayment orders (over £6K to be repaid) 1 Landlord prosecuted for breach of 3 licence conditions
Seedley & Langworthy Outputs All properties are covered by a valid Gas safety certificate which has been completed by an engineer registered with Gas Safe All properties are covered by a satisfactory and valid Electrical installation condition report completed by a suitable trained engineer Identification of unregistered engineers working in area who have been referred to the relevant agencies for enforcement action Smoke alarms have been fitted in all privately rented properties and are in working order Electrical appliances provided by Landlords are being tested yearly to ensure that are safe for tenants use Tenants have written tenancy agreements and have contact details for their landlord or managing agent
Langworthy outcomes Enforcement of Licence Conditions: – Anti Social Behaviour – landlords are being supported to take appropriate action to deal with their tenants unacceptable behaviour. - Working alongside Environmental Services – disposal of refuse, landlords taking responsibility Sharing of information – Greater Manchester Police – Project Gulf Supporting the work of Housing Crime Reduction team – Alleygating projects – engaging with landlords & tenants Fit and Proper person test – 2 licences refused, work with landlords to raise standards Work with Housing Standards Team – referral of properties that may be poor condition Empties – Cluster money However, there is still more to do
Seedley/Langworthy, Weaste Redesignation?
Legal Framework: one of two criteria must be satisfied Evidence Requirement –ASB directly linked back to private sector landlords not taking appropriate action –Low housing demand – value of residential premises, turnover of occupiers, number of premises available to rent or buy –Approval from Assistant Mayor (used to Secretary of State) Timeline: –Consultation commences (12 weeks)14 th May 2012 – Prepare report for Assistant Mayor11 th June 2012 – Report to Assistant Mayor6 th August 2012 – Decision becomes operative 13 th August 2012 (3 months statutory notices) – Scheme commences13 th November 2012
Formal Consultation Formal consultation commenced on 14 th May 2012 and will run to 3 rd August 2012 Proposals – area, fee’s, conditions, Consulting with residents, landlords, managing agents, local businesses, organisation's likely to be affected. –6000 resident letters –1000 landlord/managing agent letters 130 responses to date Residents are in favour of the proposals Landlords/managing agents are generally supportive of the scheme but have issues with the fee
Seedley/Langworthy, Weaste Redesignation? Fees Background: – Act allows a fixed fee to be applied to each application –Price Waterhouse Coopers commissioned to set fee and Business plan –Fair and Transparent Fee – Self financing scheme –Fee set at £353 for 1 st application, £248 for subsequent application –Fee and Business Plan reviewed Current fees in other areas: –Base fee of £576 for 1 st application, £556 for subsequent application –Discount for Accredited Landlords –Early application discounts Proposed baseline fee - £625 Proposed Discounts: –Accredited landlords –Landlords with multiple properties –Landlords who apply in a timely manner
Future Schemes Approval has been sought to start looking at Eccles Community Committee area following Seedley, Langworthy & Weaste area Ongoing review of areas' where evidence is supportive for introduction of scheme Consideration being sought for an Additional House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) scheme – covering HMO’s not already covered by Mandatory HMO licensing or in a Selective Scheme