Yet another council private rental sector licensing scheme is being drawn up with the claim that it will improve standards of accommodation and tackle rogue landlords.
All private landlords with residential property in designated areas of Peterborough have until December 1, when the scheme is introduced, to apply for a licence for each of their properties. Failure to do so would result in enforcement action being taken which could lead to an unlimited fine.
To obtain a licence landlords will have to meet certain standards and comply with conditions which include ensuring the property has a gas safety certificate, working smoke alarms and safe electrical appliances and furniture. Landlords are also required to provide appropriate tenancy agreements and acquire references from prospective tenants. These requirements are mandatory licence conditions.
The council will also require landlords to meet a host of other criteria which includes monitoring overcrowding, resolving anti-social behaviour and legally removing tenants where there is evidence of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour, ensuring properties are in good condition and free of waste at the start of each tenancy, as well as advising and reminding tenants of their responsibilities for the storage and disposal of household waste.
Landlords who apply for their licences between September 1 and November 30 will be charged £500 for a licence per dwelling if they are accredited with a nationally recognised organisation such as the NLA or RLA or if the property is managed through an ARLA-accredited letting agent.
Landlords without this accreditation will be charged £600 per property for a single let property or £750 for an HMO. Landlords who fail to register their property by December 1 will be charged £900.
Licence holders found to be in breach of the licence conditions could face prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000. In such circumstances, the council would then consider whether it was appropriate to revoke the licence and take over the management of the property.