Selective Licensing Scheme

Background

Following public consultation, a Selective Licensing scheme for some private rented properties was approved on March 18 2021.

The scheme was approved to cover families living in private rented homes within specific neighbourhoods in Milton, Kursaal, Victoria and Chalkwell wards.

The scheme will help us to regulate conditions, management, and occupation of properties.

In the selected areas, landlords will need to have a licence for each house they rent out or risk severe unlimited penalties if they fail to obtain one.

We believe that introducing this scheme will.

  • improve housing conditions for those in the private sector
  • reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB)
  • reduce levels of property related crime
  • increase the number of good landlords
  • develop an improved offer providing higher quality rented housing resulting in improved neighbourhoods

To find out if your property is included in this scheme simply enter your postcode in the search box on this map of the designated area. If your property is within the selected area you will be required to apply for a licence from 1st December 2021. If you require clarification on whether your property requires a licence, contact us via email propertylicensing@southend.gov.uk or telephone 01702 212220. Please note that we will be receiving a high volume of calls and enquiries; it may take up to 5 working days in order to obtain a response, but we will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible.

What you need to know

  • applicants will be able to apply online from Wednesday 1 December 2021, by completing an online form
  • you will receive a reference number for your application and you will be able to log in part complete, fully complete, add documents and review the progress of your application at any time
  • you will be able to make payment A and will be set up to automatically take part B payment which will enable the full licence to be issued with less delay
  • you will receive a 25% discount if you apply before 1 April 2022 on part B of the payment
  • the council will not be taking enforcement action for failing to licence properties in the Selective Licencing Scheme zone until 1 April 2022
  • all property safety requirements and size standards continue to apply
  • if your property is already licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) under Southend's mandatory HMO licensing scheme, you do not need to apply for a selective licence. Each property is only subject to one type of residential licensing scheme
  • there is a separate process for HMO Licencing and you can apply for this type of licence on the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) page

Who requires a licence

  • selective licensing applies to all privately rented residential properties occupied by one or two persons, or one family households located in selected area across the borough
  • please see map of the designated area to check if your property falls within the Selective Licencing Scheme area. If your address is highlighted in blue it will require a licence
  • landlords must apply for a licence for each property they rent out in these wards. This includes multiple rented flats in the same block or building. Each separate flat in a building will need its own individual licence
  • there are a number of properties that will be exempt from licensing. Information on this can be found on legislation.gov.uk.

Applications from letting or managing agents, and non-UK residents

Who can make a licence application?

You can apply for a property licence if you’re the property owner, the manager employed by the owner, or the person in receipt of the rent.

Proposed licence holder

The licence holder should have the power to:

  • let and terminate tenancies
  • access all parts of the premises (same as the owner)
  • authorise repairs or maintenance

If the property is managed by someone other than the licence holder, such as a letting or managing agent, the licence holder should make sure:

  • the agent is fully aware and compliant with the licence conditions
  • there are satisfactory management arrangements and a signed declaration in place
  • the agent is a member of a redress scheme
  • a copy of the contract between the owner and the agent must be provided. This must include a declaration that the agent is fully aware and compliant with the licence conditions and there are satisfactory management arrangements in place

Non-UK applicants

Applications for a property licence from a non-UK resident will only be considered valid if there is a managing agent based in the UK. The managing agent must agree to the conditions and obligations imposed in the licence conditions by signing a declaration.

Limited company application

Applications from a limited company need to provide:

  • a full company name
  • a registered address
  • a registration number
  • a name of the person who can be contacted about the licence

Applications will only be accepted from companies with a UK registered office.

What is required to apply for a Selective Licence?

Before applying for a licence, you will need the following information to complete your application:

  • details of the licence holder, including name, address and date of birth
  • room sizes in square metres
  • details about the property structure, and location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • name and addresses of all people and organisations with an interest in the property (such as freeholders, leaseholders, managing agents and mortgage provider)
  • documents (gas safety certificate, electrical, EPC and floorplan with measurements)
  • payment card details

Fit and proper person checks

For a landlord, letting or management agent to be given a private rented property licence, they will need to prove they are a fit and proper person. This will include a declaration about any criminal offences. This will be found in the online application.

Failure to meet the fit and proper person test may result in an application for a licence being refused.

In deciding whether someone is fit and proper, we must consider:

  • any offences involving fraud or other dishonesty, violence, drugs, or any offence listed in Schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • any unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, or disability
  • any contravention of the law relating to housing or landlord and tenant law
  • whether the person has a banning order in force under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • if any person involved in the management of the property has a sufficient level of competence to be involved

We may also decide a person is not fit and proper due to association with other persons not considered fit and proper, and where this would affect the management of a licensed property. The proposed licence holder and managing agent, if applicable, must also be able to prove that satisfactory management and financial arrangements are in place for the property.

Application Fee

The full licence fee is £668 payable in two parts.

Part A - £168

Part B - £500

This will be applicable to any applications received from 1 April 2022 onwards.

There is a discount period of four months (1st December 21 to 31 March 22) where a 25% discount will be offered to landlords who apply during this window. The fee structure for that is as follows:

The discounted licence fee is £501 payable in two parts.

Part A - £168

Part B - £333

Please note that the 25% is deducted from the full price of the licence but only taken from part B as we have to take the application fee from all landlords.

A licence is for five years, from the date that it is issued. The council may issue a licence for a shorter period, subject to additional conditions if there are concerns about the management arrangements or standards.

Exemptions

Some tenancies and licences are exempt. These can be found under The Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006.

Variation of a selective licence

You will need to use the property licensing website to make changes to an existing licence. This may include:

  • a change in the property agent or company managing the property
  • a change of address for the landlord
  • a change of household or occupancy levels in the property

If your private rented property falls within the designated area for selective licensing and you think it is exempt from the requirement of property licensing, you will need to apply for a temporary exemption notice.

If you are unsure if your property is exempt or requires a temporary exemption notice, contact the selective licensing team by emailing propertylicencing@southend.gov.uk. You are able to make an application for a temporary exemption make variations, make one off payments, respond to requests made by the officers, manage existing applications and renew a licence.

You are able to make an application for a temporary exemption make variations, make one off payments, respond to requests made by the officers, manage existing applications and renew a licence.

Selective Licensing Public Notice

Selective Licensing - Our Responses to consultation comments

To view the consultation documents please visit Your Say Southend.

Apply Online

Contact Housing

Telephone: 01702 215002

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