Selective Licensing Oct 21 Update

Draft Process for Southend Selective licensing applications released

Further to the information on the Southend Selective Licensing scheme released in our last newsletter, we now have additional details relating to the application process to share with you.

At the recent SEAL and ELA Landlords Forum, a Selective Licensing Q & A session took place with Faith Addy and Olivia Richards from Southend Borough Council (SBC).  It was announced that a draft step-by-step process for licence applications is being mapped out and is currently as follows:

  1. Check whether your property is on the interactive map by entering the postcode.
    NB: The map is more accurate than a previously issued list of street names / opens in new browser tab:
  1. Complete the application form and ‘Fit and Proper Person’ application
  2. Gas safety certificate, electrical safety certificate and floorplan to be supplied (note that the floorplan can be hand drawn, but will need measurements for most rooms)
  3. Pay initial £168 administration fee
  4. Draft licence could be issued if approved at that point
  5. Pay balance of licence fee by 31.03.2022
  6. Receive licence (valid for 5 years), await inspection.

‘Go Live’ date

Southend Borough Council is still envisaging a ‘go live’ date of 01.12.21. for the scheme.  A new online system has been procured that will make the application process as simple and stress free as possible and SBC are confident that landlords will agree once the new system is unveiled.  It has a dashboard for landlords to monitor progress and communicate with SBC.

Early Bird Discount

There will be a discount of 25% available on the full £668 fee if the total due is paid by 31.03.22. However, the Early Bird period will not apply until the balance payment is due.  We understand this means if you pay the initial £168 fee on 01 Dec 2021, then pay the £500 balance due before 31.03.2022, you will qualify for a 25% discount off the total amount.  It was simplified by saying that if you do not pay the licence fee by 31.03.2022, then you will need to pay the full £668. There is currently no facility for monthly payments.

Minimum room sizes

Minimum room sizes apply for Selective Licensing, as already exists in law for any residential rented property in England.  These standards are not the same as in HMO premises as the style of accommodation is different where in single occupancy houses, the occupants will have access to other rooms, such as living rooms.  Current minimum room size for a family dwelling is 6.51m / 70 feet squared.  Properties with an undersized room should not include this room when being advertised for letting. If a room has been divided creating an undersized room this will also need to be addressed.

How can Pace help you with Selective Licensing?

If Pace are managing your property and are receiving rent on your behalf, then we are able to assist you with applying for the licence.  There will be a fee but we can’t say how much till more information is available from Southend Borough Council.

Licence’s will usually be in your name.  If you wish Pace to be the formal licence applicant, there will be an additional fee for the extra responsibility and work that this will entail, but we can’t confirm what our fee will be at this stage either.

You will of course be able to do your own licence applications if you prefer.

The named person on the licence, either you or us, will be responsible for the property with regards to Selective Licensing, including the production of certificates, information in relation to the application, tenant behaviour and repairs.  If the applicant is the owner of the property Pace can be an interested party and will then be included in all correspondence.

If you have any questions, please call the office on 01702 455600 and as always, we will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.

Martin Ransom is Office Manager at Pace, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent.

With nearly 25 years experience in the property industry, Martin is well placed in his role as Branch Manager for Pace.

After joining the business in 2010 Martin took it upon himself to foster excellent customer service among the team and this continues to position Pace as a leader in its field today.