Landlord not aware of Nottingham Licensing – Help?

by Readers Question

10:05 AM, 9th March 2020
About 9 months ago

Landlord not aware of Nottingham Licensing – Help?

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Landlord not aware of Nottingham Licensing – Help?

I have a client who has just approached me with a problem. He moved to London 2 years ago and let his house to a friend and her daughter. He wants to sell so the friend/tenant went to the council (he doesn’t know why but I have informed her it will be because she doesn’t want to leave). They have asked for his landlord licence number. He hadn’t got one because he wasn’t aware of the Nottingham licensing scheme.

He is very scared now. My question is what should be his next steps? As he is selling he could apply for a TEN – a temporary license of 3 months. I will have found a buyer with a sitting tenant by then.

Is this the best advice? Would he face a fine because he has been letting without a license or will it be OK because he has now applied for one?

Many Thanks

Nicky


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Neil Patterson

10:11 AM, 9th March 2020
About 9 months ago

From Nottingham Selective licensing website >> https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/qualityhousingforall

If you are in the process of selling your property and it falls within the designated area you can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN).

You can only make an application if you are the owner or person in control of the property.

A temporary exemption notice lasts for three months. You can renew for an extra three months in special circumstances. If the property still needs a licence after this period, you must apply for a property licence straight away.

It is against the law for any landlord to rent out a property in designated Selective Licencing areas without a licence. We will work with other partner agencies across Nottingham to find unlicensed properties and take legal action.

Landlords with unlicensed rented properties can face a financial penalty notice of up to £30,000 or an unlimited fine from the court.​ You could also have control of your unlicensed properties taken away from you, and be ordered to repay up to 12 months rent to us or your tenants.

Here is the Nottingham civil penalties enforcement guide
https://committee.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/documents/s60961/Nottingham%20Civil%20Penalties%20Enforcement%20Guidance.pdf

Monty Bodkin

12:35 PM, 9th March 2020
About 9 months ago

Section 21 invalid if no license.
(Probably amongst other things if they weren't even aware of the licensing)

Andy

13:32 PM, 9th March 2020
About 9 months ago

Hi I would say as the licensing has been in place for over a year that if your client has had the property since the scheme started then they will be liable.

In court I doubt being unaware of the licensing would be seen as defence.

He needs to either hope the tenants move out or try to get them out with assistance towards going ur assistance with deposit on new rental.

Alternatively I would get in touch with the selective licensing team via email and ask for a retro license and pay the fee as if he had it maybe £680ish but get in before a hefty fine comes in.

He could try and just apply if not as you say but they may say he should have had a license already

The fees are also increasing as of 1st April so he needs to try move quickly or it may cost him few hundred more

See fees section

https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/qualityhousingforall?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Mick Roberts

8:32 AM, 14th March 2020
About 9 months ago

The unofficial words on this a few weeks ago was, they were letting Landlords just License if they didn't know about the License previously. As they was desperate to get the numbers Licensing up. But that could change depending on which new member of staff has started working there & answers the phone to u.
Ring 'em up, say I asked u to ring & U genuinely didn't know, what can u do? Previous Landlords that has asked to do this using my name have been ok (even though certain people in Licensing can't stand me). However you using an extension, this may be different.
It is disgusting that u may have to pay £890 for a License, yet a new Landlord owner of the SAME house may have pay another £890. And u won't get 5 years either, u will get the remaining 3 years 4 months to the end of the scheme.
I never knew when u MOT'd your car, the new buyer then had to MOT again. Oh I see, he doesn't.
Some may say it's similar to car tax. Oh I see, that's not either, u get your car tax proportionately refunded when u sell. And the new buyer pays his fee and gets the FULL TIME REMAINING period.


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