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Proposed Selective Licensing conditions

Article by Giles Inman on Jan 18, 2017 View in browser

Proposed Selective Licensing conditions

Proposed licence conditions for privately rented houses

 *Indicates a statutory condition as prescribed by the Housing Act 2004

 A. Gas, Electrical and Fire Safety

Gas Safety

1. Where gas is supplied to the house the licence holder shall ensure that all gas

installations and appliances are in a safe condition at all times and that an

annual gas safety check is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The

licence holder shall provide a copy to all tenants/occupiers at the beginning of

their tenancy and keep a written record that it has been provided.*

2. The licence holder shall produce the gas safety certificate issued in respect of

the house within the previous 12 months for inspection within 7 days of the

Council’s demand.* Details of Gas Safe engineers can be found at www.gassaferegister.co.uk

 

Safety of Electrical Appliances

3. The licence holder shall ensure that electrical appliances made available in

the house by them are kept in a safe condition and proper working order at all

times.*

4. The licence holder shall ensure a record of visual inspections and tests of

such appliances is maintained and shall submit this record to the Council

within 7 days of the Council’s demand.

5. Within 7 days of the Council’s demand, the licence holder shall supply a

declaration as to the safety of electrical appliances made available by him at

the house.*

 

Safety of Electrical Installations

6. The licence holder shall ensure that the electrical installation in the house is

kept safe and in proper working order at all times. The licence holder shall

ensure that a satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or

Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) is produced at intervals of no more than

5 years or more frequently if indicated on the previous report and supply the

most recent EICR or EIC to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s

demand.

 Smoke Alarms / Fire Detection Systems        

 7.The licence holder shall ensure that at all times a suitable fire detection and alarm system is installed in the house and is maintained in proper working order. As a minimum there must be a smoke alarm installed on each storey of the house on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. For the purposes of this paragraph, a bathroom or lavatory is to be treated as a room used as living accommodation.*          

 8. The licence holder shall ensure that where the current BS 5839 (or any British Standards which subsequently replaces this) requires the fire alarm system to be tested in accordance with it that the system is so tested, inspected and serviced by a competent person and that copies of testing certificates shall be supplied to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s demand.

9. The licence holder shall supply a declaration as to the condition and position

of any smoke alarms/detectors in the property within 7 days of the Council’s

demand.*

Emergency Escape Lighting

10. The licence holder shall ensure that any emergency escape lighting in the

house is inspected, tested and serviced by a competent person in accordance

with BS 5266-1:2011 (or any British Standard which subsequently replaces

this). Copies of testing certificates shall be provided to the Council within 7

days of the Council’s demand.

 

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety)

11. The licence holder shall ensure that the furniture made available by them at

the house is kept in a safe condition at all times.*

12. The licence holder shall supply a declaration as to the safety of the furniture

made available by him at the house within 7 days of the Council’s demand.*

 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

13. The licence holder shall ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in

any room in the house which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation

and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. Any such alarm must

be kept in proper working order. For the purposes of this paragraph, a

bathroom, lavatory, hall or landing are all treated as being a room used as

living accommodation.*

14. The licence holder shall supply a declaration as to the condition and position

of any carbon monoxide alarms in the property within 7 days of the Council’s

demand.*

 

B. Property Management

15. The licence holder must ensure all reasonable and practical steps are taken

to respond to repair and maintenance issues at their property and that any

works to deal with repairs are undertaken within a reasonable period of time

after they are notified, and within the timescales notified to occupiers under

condition 22.

16. The licence holder must ensure that:

a) The property is kept in a good state of repair and free from significant

hazards that could affect the health and safety of tenants, occupiers and

visitors to the property (as required by part 1 of the Housing Act 2004)

b) The exterior of the property is maintained in a reasonable decorative order, and in a good state of repair.   

c) The exterior of the property and boundary walls, fences and gates etc. are kept free from graffiti.     

d) Gardens, yards and other external areas within the boundary of the property are kept in a clean and tidy condition and free from rodent infestations at all times.                            

 17. The licence holder shall ensure the property is secure by complying with the requirements of paragraphs a) to g) below:                    

a) So far as reasonably possible, any emergency works necessary to protect the security of the property are undertaken within 24hrs of notification e.g damage to windows/entrance points to the property.                                 

b) The security provisions for the access to the property (locks, latches,

deadbolts and entry systems etc.) are maintained in good working order at

all times;

c) Where window locks are fitted that keys are provided to the occupant(s) of

the property;

d) Where a burglar alarm is fitted to the house, that the occupant(s) is (are)

made aware of the code, how the alarm is operated and the circumstances

under which the code for the alarm can be changed;

e) Where previous occupiers have not surrendered keys, arranging for a lock

change to be undertaken, prior to new occupiers moving in;

f) Where alley gates are installed to the side or rear of the licensed property,

taking responsibility for holding a key and making satisfactory

arrangements for the occupiers’ access;

g) The main escape route (usually the front door) must be fitted with a thumb

turn mortice lock, or equivalent, to five-lever security level. The lock must

comply with fire safety requirements in that it shall be openable from the

inside without the use of a key.

 Dealing with rubbish

 18. The licence holder shall at the beginning of a tenancy, provide written

information to the occupiers of the property indicating:

  • · what day refuse collections take place,
  • · what type of bins to use for household and recycling waste,
  • · details of the Council’s bulky waste collection service,
  • · the occupiers responsibility to put bins out no earlier than 4pm on the day

before collection and to return refuse containers within the boundary of the

property by 8am the day after they are emptied,

  • · that occupiers should make arrangements for any extra rubbish that

cannot fit in the bins to be collected and/or disposed of as soon as is

reasonably possible and ensure that such rubbish, where possible, is

stored at the rear of and within the boundary of the property until

collection/disposal

  • · The Licence Holder shall ensure so far as is reasonably possible that the

occupiers make arrangements for the collection of waste in accordance

with these provisions and, when the property is unoccupied, adhere to

these provisions him/herself.

19. The licence holder shall ensure that suitable and adequate provision for

refuse storage and collection is made at the house. This shall include a

closable bin(s) of suitable capacity as specified by the Council.

 Property inspections

 20. The licence holder must ensure that the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of

the property is respected. Where entry is required the licence holder must

ensure that any notice requirements contained in the tenancy agreement are

complied with. Where the tenancy agreement does not contain any such

requirements, the licence holder must ensure that the tenant receives at least

24 hours written notice of intention to enter the property specifying the reason

entry is required. The only exception when it would not be reasonable to give

such notice and access is urgent, e.g. in an emergency.

21. The licence holder shall ensure that inspections of the property are carried out

at least every six (6) months to identify any problems relating to the condition

and management of the property. The records of such inspections shall be

kept for the duration of this licence. As a minimum requirement the records

must contain a log of who carried out the inspection, date and time of

inspection and issues found and action(s) taken. Copies of these must be

provided within 7 days of the Council’s demand.

 C. Tenancy management

 22. At the beginning of a new tenancy, the licence holder must provide the

occupier(s) with written information, including contact details, explaining how

they can make a complaint about the property and the arrangements in place

to deal with emergency and other repairs. The contact and telephone number

details should be applicable for contact between 9am – 5pm Monday to

Friday, and should also include an out of hours contact number for use in

emergencies. Any change in contact and/or telephone number details should

be provided to occupiers within 24 hours of the changes being made. Copies

of the written information provided to tenants must be provided within 7 days

of the Council’s demand.                                       

 23. The licence holder shall indicate to the occupier(s) how they intend to respond

to the complaint including a timescales for the steps they intend to take.

24. The licence holder shall respond to any complaint within a reasonable

timescale. Copies of all correspondence relating to complaints shall be

retained during the currency of the occupation and for 6 months thereafter

and shall be provided to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s demand.

25. The licence holder must provide the tenant with an information pack

containing the following details:

a) A true copy of the licence to which these conditions apply.

b) A notice with the name, address, day time and emergency contact number

of the licence holder or managing agent.

c) Where appropriate, true copies of the current gas, electrical safety and

energy performance certificates.

d) The information required by conditions 18, 22 and 26.

26. The licence holder shall supply to the occupiers of the house a written

statement of the terms on which they occupy it. This statement shall be

provided within 7 days of the occupancy beginning and the licence holder

shall supply a copy of the written statement within 7 days of the Council’s

demand. *

27. The licence holder shall comply with all relevant landlord and tenant law and

shall ensure that all legal processes are followed when requiring occupiers to

leave. If a complaint of illegal eviction is made to the Council the licence

holder shall provide information as to the steps taken to evict an occupant

within 7 days of the Council’s demand.

28. The licence holder shall demand references for new occupiers before entering

into any occupancy agreement with them or allowing them to occupy the

premises. Copies of these references shall be kept for the duration of this

licence and made available to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s

demand.*

29. The licence holder shall ensure there is suitable and sufficient buildings

insurance in place for the duration of this licence. This should cover the costs

of re-housing occupiers in the event of a need arising.

30. Before a new tenancy is issued the licence holder / agent should carry out an

inventory and document it with photographs (where appropriate). Both the

licence holder and the tenant shall date and sign the inventory and each

retain a copy.

31. Where a deposit is taken the licence holder must provide any tenant with the

relevant information about the deposit scheme to which it relates and any

other information required under section 213 of the Housing Act 2004. This

information must be provided to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s

demand.

 D. Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

 32. The licence holder shall ensure that all reasonable and practical steps are

taken to prevent and respond to anti-social behaviour. These include written

tenancy management arrangements to prevent or reduce anti-social

behaviour by persons occupying or visiting the property. Copies of these must

be provided to the Council within 7 days of the Council’s demand. If the

licence holder or manager / agent receive complaints of anti-social behaviour

that concern the occupiers of, or visitors to the property or that result from

their actions they must comply with requirements (a) to (i) below:

a) Any letters, relating to anti-social behaviour, sent or received by the

licence holder, or agent of the licence holder, must be kept by the licence

holder. True copies of the original document should be provided to the

Council within 7 days on demand.

b) Ensure that written notes are kept of any meetings or telephone

conversations or investigations regarding anti-social behaviour.

c) If a complaint is received, or anti-social behaviour is discovered, within 7

days the tenant must be informed of the allegations of the anti-social

behaviour in writing and of the consequences of its continuation.

d) From the date of receipt of the complaint of anti-social behaviour, monitor

any allegations of anti-social behaviour and take all necessary steps to

establish if it is continuing.

e) Where the anti-social behaviour is continuing after 14 days from receipt of

the complaint, the licence holder, or his agent must, within 7 days visit the

premises and give to the tenant, or leave at the property marked for their

attention, a warning letter advising them of the possibility of eviction.

f) Where the licence holder or his agent has reason to believe that the antisocial

behaviour involves criminal activity the licence holder must ensure

that the appropriate authorities (e.g. Police, Council etc.) are informed.

g) If after 14 days of giving a warning letter the tenant has failed adequately

to address the anti-social behaviour so that it is continuing, the licence

holder must take appropriate formal steps under the tenancy agreement,

whether to enforce its terms or to terminate it, including, where necessary,

by taking legal proceedings against the occupier(s).

h) Where the obligation under (g) has arisen, the licence holder must, within

7 days, provide to the Council in writing a plan setting out the steps he

proposes to take, and the timescale for taking those steps, in order to

resolve the problem.

i) If the licence holder is invited to do so, they must attend a case conference

or Multi-Agency Meeting arranged by the Council or Police (whether

following the provision of a plan referred to at (h) above, or generally.)

There may be instances where anti-social behaviour occurs more than once,

but not continuously and possibly several months apart. In such

circumstances the licence holder would still be expected to take all

reasonable and practical steps to ensure it is effectively dealt with, up to and

including eviction.

 E. Change of Details or Circumstances

 33. The licence holder must inform the Council within 21 days of any material

change in circumstances including:

a. Change of their address

b. Change of manager, management arrangements or ownership.

c. Any changes to their, the manager’s or any associate’s circumstances which could affect their fit and proper person status, i.e. any cautions or convictions for any offence involving fraud, dishonesty, violence, drugs, sexual offences (under Sexual Offences Act, schedule 3) discrimination or breach of housing or landlord / tenant law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    d. Any proposed changes to the layout of the house that would affect the licence or licence conditions.

F. Licence Holder Training

 34. Where the licence holder has not attended relevant training in the previous 3

years, they must as a minimum attend suitable training on the law and legal

requirements relating to managing privately rented housing within 12 months

of the date the licence is issued. This requirement can be satisfied in one of

the following ways:

a. by attending a one-day training course arranged and delivered by the

Council or our accreditation partner DASH Services and submitting a

certificate to the Council following this training. Visit

www.dashservices.org.uk or call 01332 641111 to arrange this;

b. by completion of the accreditation training of the National Landlords

Association (NLA) or Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and

submitting the pass certificates to the Council for confirmation;

c. by completion of other suitable training on the law and legal

requirements relating to managing privately rented properties subject to

approval by the Council in advance and subject to submitting a pass

certificate or similar document to the Council for confirmation.

 G. Interpretation

 35. Where reports, certificates, declarations or other documents are required to

be produced or supplied to the Council, this shall mean sending by email

(preferred method), post or delivering by hand, declaration to the Council’s

offices for the attention of the Housing Licensing and Compliance team.

36. Any reference to tenant or tenancy can also be interpreted to include

occupancy by licence or other form of written agreement for the purposes of

these conditions.

37. Where electrical works / certificates are required they shall be carried out by a

suitably qualified electrical contractor who should be registered / member of

an approved scheme such as NICEIC, ECA, NAPIT etc. or registered to

undertake electrical works in accordance with Part P of the Building

Regulations. Electrical contractors that are on a relevant competent person

scheme can be found at www.competentperson.co.uk

Failure to comply with any licence conditions may result in legal

proceedings including unlimited fine and loss of the licence.