News & views from Q&A: Do I require a landlord licence?

Posted by: Adam Male on 26 August 2016
Comments: 0


I have heard a lot about landlord licensing recently. Do I need a licence, and if so, how much is it likely to cost me?



Whether or not you require a licence is very dependent on the area your property is located in, and what type of property it is.

HMOs traditionally require a licence, but more and more we are seeing evidence of local authorities implementing licensing schemes designed to weed out 'rogue landlords' and ensure that all private sector landlords are fully compliant, and abiding by all required legislation.


HMO licensing

Most local authorities require a mandatory licensing fee (ML) for HMOs, which applies if your property falls under the following remit:

  • The property, or any part of it, comprises of three stories or more
  • It is occupied by five or more persons, which make up two or more households
  • The occupiers share some facilities
Some areas also have licensing requirements (AL) for HMOs, which take into account properties that are not already mandatorily licensable

Non-HMO licences

In addition to licensing requirements for HMO's, many local authorities are now putting selective licence requirements (SL) in place for other types of rental accommodation as well. The power to put these requirements in place is at the discretion of the local council.

You can find out if your area requires sign up to a landlord licensing scheme using the information below, or by visiting


East of England

Greater London


South East

South West


West Midlands


East Midlands





North West



North East


Leigh-on-Sea is the place to be!

Posted by: Adam Male on 22 August 2016
Comments: 0

With such lovely weather, it’s no surprise that people are flocking to the seaside, but recent research has shown that residents of Leigh-on Sea are happiest all year round!

The research, carried out by property portal Rightmove, has revealed that the Essex seaside town tops the list of the happiest places to live in the UK.

Residents scored their town highly for community spirit and a strong sense of belonging, as well as good access to sports and arts activities and opportunities to develop skills.

The town has knocked Harrogate off of the top spot, where the it has enjoyed three happy years, bumping it down to third place. 

Second place has been taken by another seaside town, Troon in Scotland – suggesting that we love nothing more than being beside the seaside! Troon residents have revealed that they feel safe and ‘able to be themselves’ in the town, which has contributed to it creeping up the ‘lovely list’.

The top ten list looks like this:

  1.  Leigh-On-Sea, east of England

  2.  Troon, Scotland

  3.  Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber

  4.  Hertford, East of England

  5.  Lytham St Annes, North West

  6.  Shepperton, South East

  7.  Stanford-Le-Hope, East of England

  8.  Shrewsbury, West Midlands

  9.  Hitchin, East of England

  10.  Woodbridge, East of England

Spicy legal battle hots up in London property world!

Posted by: Adam Male on 22 August 2016
Comments: 0

There’s a spicy legal battle kicking off in Wandsworth, South London, with a particularly pungent problem overtaking a block of flats in the area.

Resident Joanna Cridlin has launched legal action against her neighbours' landlord… in a bid to try and prevent them from cooking spicy food!

Ms Cridlin - who has lived in the converted Victorian property for three years - believes that the ‘overwhelming pungent toxic fumes of hot chilli’ from the flat below makes it difficult for her to breathe in her own property, and ‘permeates her home’ for up to eight hours after her neighbours have finished cooking… something she describes as ‘torture’.

She maintains that she has choked in her sleep, and previously had to stagger to her balcony gasping for air, after the fumes caused her to experience breathing problems. It has got so severe that she has decided to sue her neighbours' landlord to try and force him to take action against the spicy residents.

The anti-social behavior case is being heard at London’s High Court, and Mr Cridlin hopes to achieve a ban on her neighbours cooking spicy food, and a compensation payout. 

Landlord jailed for failure to comply with regulations!

Posted by: Adam Male on 22 August 2016
Comments: 0

A private landlord has been jailed, and ordered to pay over £100,000 costs and £4,200 compensation to tenants, after a serious fire at one of his properties nearly resulted in a fatality.

Keith Newsum, a landlord with 19 properties in North East Lincolnshire worth over £1.3 million, admitted to Grimsby Crown Court that he had failed to take safety procedures that had put the lives of his tenants at risk.

The court heard that:

  • The premise was ill-equipped with fire detectors and alarms.
  • Self-closing doors were not provided
  • Fire doors were not wedged open (Newsum lied to police about this, he maintained that it had been kept open, in fact a tenant revealed that it had been locked for four years)
  • No information of an escape route was provided to the 13 tenants, for use in the event of a fire
  • Newsum had failed to maintain the fire alarms, despite a tenant requesting they be checked following a malfunction two weeks previously

Newsum admitted failing to have carried out a sufficient fire risk assessment, failing to take general fire precautions and failing to have premises equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms. He also admitted failing to provide self-closing fire doors and failing to ensure fire doors were not wedged open.

During the trial, the Judge Peter Kelson QC chastised Mr Newsum, saying: ‘You put your wealth before your tenants' welfare. You did not carry out fire assessments. You never took advice from a fire safety expert. You did it all yourself. You put wealth before welfare. You were corner-cutting, just as you were with electrical work’.

Fire safety is a serious consideration, to landlords and tenants – and not just because of the potential legal ramifications.  For advice you can trust on legal requirements, as well as your responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (2005), (commonly known as the Fire Safety Order) click here to visit a Landlord Fire Safety Guide. Q&A: As a landlord, is a wasp nest in my property my responsibility?

Posted by: Adam Male on 18 August 2016
Comments: 0


My tenant has reported a wasp nest in the property. Is this my responsibility or theirs?



Ah, the classic summer problem!

Many tenancy agreement state that it is the landlord’s responsibility to remove any vermin from the property, and wasps would fall under this description. Check if the tenancy agreement you and your tenant have both signed carries this clause, if so, you are legally bound to dispose of the wasp nest.

It is good practice to make sure that your property is free of the buzzy blighters at the start of the tenancy – don’t forget to include the garden in your property inventory! It is good practice to fully check your property, inside and out, for any pests before a tenant moves in as a matter of course – and don’t forget any loft areas.

Left unchecked, a significant infestation (you could end up with up to 10,000 wasps!) could actually cause structural damage to your property, so even if your tenant is seemingly unconcerned with the problem, make sure you get this under control as soon as possible.

And don’t forget, make sure you figure out what you are dealing with before you go steaming in. Make sure that you are dealing with a wasp’s nest, rather than a bee’s nests – bees are not an endangered species and cannot be exterminated. Your local council will be able to point you in the right direction of a local bee-keeping organisation who should be able to come and move a nest for you without harming the hive.