Landlord Licensing

Licensing procedure

5.11. The procedure for applying for a licence under the proposed scheme will include the following requirements:

  landlords applying for a licence will be required to complete an electronic form on the Council’s website www.croydon.gov.uk;

  landlords seeking to licence more than one property in Croydon will be able to submit certain items of data only once through the Council’s online “My Account” service;

  the landlord granted the licence will be required to be the person responsible for rent collection, and having practical day to day control of the property i.e. the person responsible for arranging repairs and tenancy management;

  applications for a licence must be made within three calendar months of the date of the scheme beginning; and

  landlords will be required to make a legal declaration that they are not disqualified from holding a licence under the terms of the Housing Act 2004 and are “fit and proper” persons to hold a licence under the scheme.

Licensing fees, discounts, payments and exemptions

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5.12. The fees charged to landlords applying for a licence under the proposed scheme will be as follows:

  landlords will be charged £750 for a 5 year licence (or the remaining period of the designation whichever is the shorter period);

  landlords applying for a licence during the first three months of the scheme coming into force will be eligible for a £400 “early bird” discount. Landlords eligible for the “early bird” discount will be charged £350 for a 5 year licence;

  landlords applying for a licence for a newly built property within 3 months of the property being completed will also be eligible for the “early bird” discount. Landlords eligible for the “early bird” discount will be charged £350 for a 5 year licence. This does not include conversions or any large scale refurbishments;

  failure to register and licence a property under the scheme is a criminal offence and is subject to fines up to the value of £20,000 upon conviction;

  landlords will be able to make payments for licence fees online by credit or debit card;

  properties let under the arrangements set out below are exempt from the scheme under the Housing Act 2004:

-  properties operated or administered by registered social landlords or local authorities;

-  houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) subject to mandatory or discretionary licensing under Part 2;

-  properties where a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) is in force;

-  properties where a management order is in force under Part 4 of the

Housing Act 2004;

  where landlords work closely with the local authority and are providing properties for temporary accommodation, there are fewer issues of ASB and nuisance and therefore it is appropriate for a lower fee to cover administrative costs; and

  landlords that have let part of their property to one or two lodgers whilst residing in the property will also be exempt from the licence fee.

Inspection and enforcement

5.13. Arrangements for the inspection of licenced properties and the process for enforcement action concerning unlicenced properties or a breach of the scheme requirements are as follows:

 all properties licenced under the scheme will be inspected at least once over 24

the five years of the scheme;

  inspections will also be carried out where:

-  previous enforcement action has been carried out;

-  information supplied by the landlord appears to be incorrect or

incomplete;

-  there are concerns about the property from the Council’s; planning,

building control or housing benefit sections;

-  the Council receives an urgent request from the police or fire service;

-  The Council has received a complaint about specific problems such

as ASB or that the property is in poor condition;

  Where the Council becomes aware of an unlicenced property that should be part of the scheme the Council will serve a notice giving a date whereby a licence application must be completed;

  Where the Council becomes aware of a licenced property that is not in compliance with the scheme requirements the Council will serve a notice giving a date whereby the situation must be remedied; and

  Where landlord fails to take action in response to the notices serviced enforcement action will be taken including prosecution.

Termination of a licence

5.14. When a licenced property is sold, or management is transferred to another person the following conditions will apply under the proposed scheme:

 Licences granted under the scheme are not transferrable. If the licenced property is sold/transferred into the ownership of another landlord the new landlord will have to apply for a new licence under the scheme.