A NEW licensing scheme has been launched to help safeguard tenants and identify rogue landlords.
Leicester City Council is introducing Selective Licensing in three areas of the city, requiring privately-rented homes to be licensed in order to protect the most vulnerable people and improve the standards of private sector rented housing.
Landlords will need to apply for licenses once the scheme comes into effect from Monday, October 10. Full details of how to apply, and what information they will need as part of the application, are on the city council’s website here.
The scheme will be in operation in three main cluster areas of the city which have a high proportion of private sector rented properties - one cluster area comprises parts of Westcotes, Fosse, Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields wards, while another includes Stoneygate, and a third cluster includes part of the Saffron ward.
The combined area of the schemes covers less than 20 percent of Leicester’s geographical area and fewer than one in five privately rented homes in the city, focusing on areas where there is evidence of ongoing issues, and strengthening the existing mandatory powers councils have to tackle problems.
Selective Licensing places conditions on landlords to ensure issues such as gas and electrical safety, installation of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are adequately dealt with, along with matters such as repairs and maintenance, waste disposal, tenancy management and addressing antisocial behaviour.
Leicester assistant city mayor for housing, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said: “Selective licensing is part of our commitment to improve the quality of private sector rented homes, and ensuring landlords and properties meet a higher standard.
“With the scheme now launched, it is vital that landlords ensure they are ready with the relevant documents and information in order to register.
“These three cluster areas are places where there are concerns over the high concentration of poorly-managed properties, and the negative impact that has on the wider area, and Selective Licensing is key part of our work to protect the most vulnerable tenants and hold landlords to a higher standard.”
The scheme will run for five years. The licence will cost £1,090 but various discounts will be available including for early applications, charitable organisations, properties with good energy efficiency and landlords with multiple properties.
Money from the licensing scheme will be ringfenced for operating and enforcing it in the three target areas.
It is part of a broader wide-ranging programme work under Leicester’s first ever Private Rented Sector Strategy, which was launched in November 2021 and sets out plans to support both tenants and landlords in the private sector.