Selective Licensing Scheme

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Selective Licensing Scheme

From 1 April 2018, private residential landlords renting properties in the Canalside Ward of the Borough (parts of Maybury and Woking Town Centre) are required to have a licence for each privately rented property.

The aim of the scheme is to raise the standards in the private rental sector ensuring that all private tenants are able to enjoy a safe, comfortable and well managed home.

Woking Borough Council have introduced this selective licensing scheme to:

  • .ensure that these properties are managed properly
  • .improve neighbourhoods in the designated area
  • .reduce complaints of noise, rubbish, housing disrepair and other anti-social behaviour related to the private rental sector, by making landlords accountable for their tenants
  • .continue to improve the private rented sector
  • .ensure the licence holder and manager are suitable
  • .ensure fundamental basic standards of accommodation are provided including safe gas and electrics and room sizes for an appropriate number of occupants
  • .assist in identifying and dealing with rogue landlords.

The Council aims to inspect every private rented property within the selective licensing area, and where health and safety hazards are found, enforcement action will be taken to remedy these hazards. This action will ensure that private landlords carry out improvements to properties that are either non-decent or unsafe, and this will improve the health and wellbeing of private tenants.

Applying For a Licence

All private landlords who operate private rented properties in the Canalside ward must apply for a selective licensing licence. If the property is within the Canalside area and it is rented out by a private landlord, it is required to have a licence. This includes houses, flats, shared houses, and bedsits. 

Individual flats that are owned by leaseholders in the same building will require separate selective licences, if they are let to tenants. The licence is granted to the proposed licence holder and relates to a specific property. A separate licence will be needed for every property that the scheme applies to even if the owner or licence holder is the same person.

For more detailed information regarding this scheme please visit Woking Borough Councils website by clicking here.

A licence is granted based on us considering the following:

  • .the proposed licence holder and manager deemed ‘fit and proper persons’ eg no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice
  • .the arrangements for managing the property are satisfactory
  • .the property suitable for the number of persons requested.

Licences are also non-transferable, so if for example, a licensed property is sold, the new owner will need to apply for a licence.

Existing licensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are not required to apply this licence. Landlords should continue to follow and comply with the existing HMO licence conditions and renewal process.

Click Here to Apply For Your Licence**

Licence applications made before 1 April 2018 are valid for the full five year period and licence renewals are not required. Any licence applications received after 1 April 2018 are valid from the draft licence issue date until the end of the scheme, 31 March 2023.

Selective Licensing Offences

It is an offence for any landlord to rent out a property in designated selective licensing area without a licence. Woking Borough Council work with other partner agencies across Woking 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 courts upon conviction.

Tenants are also entitled to apply for repayment of any rent paid during the unlicensed period through the First-tier Property Tribunal. This can be up to 12 months. Woking Borough Council will also apply for repayment of any monies paid as Housing Benefit during the unlicensed period.

In some cases the control of the unlicensed property can be taken away from the landlord.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information regarding this scheme please visit Woking Borough Councils website by clicking here.

For more information, landlords should contact WBC's Housing Standards team on 01483 755855 or email propertylicensing@woking.gov.uk

Source: Woking Borough Council