Apply now to benefit from discounted selective licence application fees in Bexley and Redbridge
Landlords and letting agents are being warned about two new selective licensing schemes that come into force on 1 October 2018.
In the London Borough of Bexley, a new selective licensing scheme is being introduced in four parts of the borough. The scheme designation applies to Thamesmead North, Abbey Wood / Lower Belvedere, Erith and Manor Road areas.
Within the designated area, a selective licence is required for every private rented properties (house of flat) that is not already licensed under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme.
A new online search tool has been introduced to help landlords check if their property needs licensing.
Landlords who apply now can benefit from a discounted licence application fee of £371 per property, reduced from the full application fee of £690. Accredited landlords will be eligible for a further £50 discount. Whilst the licensing scheme starts on 1 October 2018, the early bird fee discount is available until 31 December 2018.
Redbridge Council’s second selective licensing scheme starting soon
Meanwhile. in the London Borough of Redbridge, a second selective licensing scheme is being introduced across a large part of the borough, following scheme approval by the Secretary of State (read here).
Redbridge Council’s first selective licensing scheme came into force on 13 July 2017 and applies to the council wards of Clementswood and Valentines.
The second selective licensing scheme that comes into force on 1 October 2018 applies to every private rented property (excluding HMOs) within an area comprising the old council wards of Goodmayes, Loxford, Snaresbrook, Roding, Newbury, Mayfield, Cranbrook, Seven Kings, Chadwell, Fairlop, Aldborough and Church End. Any HMOs in that area will need licensing under the mandatory HMO or additional licensing schemes.
Unfortunately, there is a further complication as the scheme is based on the ward boundaries that existed at the time the decision was made, and some of the wards have since changed. Fortunately, a new online search tool has been introduced to help landlords check if their property needs licensing.
Landlords who apply now can benefit from a discounted licence application fee of £250 per property, reduced from the full application fee of £500. The discount only applies to selective licences issued under new scheme. Whilst the licensing scheme starts on 1 October 2018, the early bird fee discount is available until 31 December 2018
Landlords urged to apply now to remain compliant
Landlords of properties that will require licensing under either scheme are advised to start the application process now to remain compliant, as it can take several weeks to compile all the necessary information.
Landlords and agents of licensable properties who fail to apply by 1 October 2018 will be committing a criminal offence and could face enforcement action. Possible sanctions include prosecution and a hefty fine or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
Even if the council takes no action, the tenants could apply for a Rent Repayment Order to reclaim up to 12 months rent. Whilst the property is unlicensed, the landlord can’t use a section 21 notice of seeking possession to evict the tenants.
Need help? Several companies that offer a licence application handling service in the London area can be found in our Landlord Suppliers Directory here.
For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.