Appendix 5 Fee Proposal

Licensing Fee

Any scheme should be self-funding via a licence fee which all landlords would need to pay.

The fee income would cover the cost of the scheme only. It does not cover other costs such as enforcement of standards.

The Council can only charge a licence fee to cover its costs and not make a surplus to support other functions.

The costs covered by the application fee include processing the application, administration, guidance / provision of advice and on costs, along with monitoring and compliance.

The fee will be broken down in to two payment –

Stage 1 – Upfront processing, inspection and issuing cost – based on 23 hours – £615.00.

Stage 2 – Management cost (including compliance visit) – based on 9 hours – £340.00.

NB In a limited number of circumstances, where the council has concerns around once or more of the following matters and based on a risk assessment –

  • non-compliance with licence conditions,
  • the management of the property and/or
  • the behaviour of the licence holder.

The council may choose to issue an annual licence until they are satisfied the property and licence holder are compliant.

In such situation, the initial, stage one fee will be payable followed by the stage 2 (management fee) within the first year (a total of £955) and the renewal fee on an annual basis will be the stage 2 fee of £340.

For landlords who fail to apply for a licence within 3 months of the scheme coming in to force, they will be charged a late application fee of £25 per month that they fail to apply.

This assumes 1350 properties requiring a licence which will all be inspected over the 5-year period as well the processing of 1350 licence applications.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that not all landlords will apply, and enforcement action will be required in those circumstances.

The Council will have regard to the fees set or proposed by other local authorities operating Selective Licensing Schemes in the region on a similar small area approach. The Council will also review the current scheme and look for opportunities for efficiencies to keep licensing fees as low as possible.

It is also proposed to offer the following discounts on license fees:

  • Early bird applications (to be determined);
  • Existing accreditation with the Council (or a national landlord association);

The following charges are also proposed:

  • A pre-application fee.
  • Variation fee.
  • A late application fee.
  • A late payment fee.
  • A Temporary Exemption Notice fee.
  • One-year licenses where there have been previous contraventions (as referenced above).

Licenses will be applicable for five years unless enforcement action against the landlord has been taken within the previous two years due to poor property conditions or management practices. In this case an initial one-year license will be issued which will be reviewed annually but can be upgraded to a full licence on meeting all the licensing conditions.

Where the application is made in the last quarter of the year, a 25% discount may be applied to that year’s annual fee. This discount would only be applicable where no additional officer time had been spent in researching or monitoring the property, prior to the application being submitted and where an earlier application was not possible.

The Council will only give a refund of fees paid to a landlord if a duplicate application has been made or an application has been made for an exempted property by mistake.

The Council’s fees will be based on the actual costs of administering a scheme in the two proposed areas of Scunthorpe if approved. The final fee will be determined as part of the consultation process and detailed discussions with the Landlords.