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Leeds Selective Licensing

Selective Licensing of Landlords in Leeds

UPDATE: 02/07/19

Leeds City Council voted to approve the plan to introduce Selective Licensing for parts of Leeds. From January 2020 landlords will need to apply for a license to privately rent out a property in Beeston & Harehills.

The majority of residents who took part in consultations were in favour of them being introduced but myself and the majority of Agents and Landlords were opposed to the scheme as ultimately the costs will be passed onto struggling tenants.

Landlords who let a property without having a licence would be committing an offence and could face an unlimited fine or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.

I was recently invited onto to Radio Aire to discuss Leeds Selective Licensing:

“Landlords are already feeling the financial drain that new legislation has brought in, and this is just going to make it worse” 

“Most landlords will add it to the rent, they’ll put the rent up by £12 a month or £3 a week.

“There are already a lot of powers that the council have got, for example, the Leeds landlords accreditation scheme. I think a good solution would be to make it mandatory for people to join that instead of stamping a hefty license fee. Tenants will be the ones paying for it.

Leeds City Council is going to introduce selective licensing in parts of Leeds including Beeston (Leeds 11) and Harehills (Leeds 9) which have the highest ratio of tenanted property in the city.  There are approx. 14,000 properties within the zone.

Enshrined in Law

Leeds Selective Licensing is enshrined in the Housing Act 2004 although local authorities were given discretion to apply it only to certain areas.

The proposed cost will be £825 per property, equivalent to £3 a week. The Council are describing it as a “one-off” fee but the licence will only be valid for 5 years.

The council have stated that they will not profit from the scheme and any surplus will be refunded.  I believe any refunds will be unlikely.

What are the differences between the Leeds selective Licensing Scheme and HMO Licensing?

The same rules apply when granting a Selective Licence as with an HMO licence.  The main differences are:

  • It is mandatory to take up references for a prospective tenant before letting a property subject to Selective Licensing.
  • Unlike HMOs, the licencing authority does not have to consider suitability for letting or amenity standards when granting a selective licence.  However, the licence holder must still be a fit and proper person.”

Over 50% of homes in the designated areas are private rented. This compares with 15% in 2001, so there is an ever-increasing demand for housing to be inspected and of good quality. The Leeds City average of houses belonging to the private rented sector is 21%

What do Leeds City Council Say about Selective Licensing

The Council are saying there was a low take-up of the self-regulation via their accredited landlord scheme, so they are looking into what else they can do to get landlords to improve standards of living and in turn hopefully improving crime, low levels of education, high unemployment and the health of people living in these areas.

So far, 94% of landlords and 100% of agents have been against the proposals, they believe bringing in selective licensing will do the following:

  • Pass the cost on to tenants via increased rents
  • Lead to increased homelessness and empty homes
  • Lead to further poverty in these areas

Invest Leeds believe something needs doing about the state of some housing in these areas and across Leeds as a whole, we recently viewed one property with frogs in the basement, excessive damp, unrepaired broken windows and the only cooking facilities were a microwave in the shower!

Two people were living in this property as an HMO and one of the tenants had been refused access to his daughter overnight as he was considered not to be living in adequate accommodation.  He is scared to report the issues for fear of being evicted.

We also believe licensing is not the way to improve standards.

The council already have a lot of powers to make landlords improve the standards of their properties, including placing an order on a property to improve and comply within 28 days.  If this doesn’t happen then court action follows.

Invest Leeds agrees that with landlords already feeling bruised by the introduction of Section 24, increased SDLT and other measures, that forking out £825 is not a sensible approach and maybe a good alternative is to enforce landlords to join the accredited landlord scheme instead, this way, support can still be given to improve and enforcement is an option for refusing to comply.

Invest Leeds also want to state that we work with many landlords within these areas and they provide very safe, modern and compliant properties that their tenants turn into their home.

And here is my recent interview with Radio Aire on Selective Licensing

Jo Fox

Invest Leeds

If you want to rent your property out with a Leeds Letting Agent who is famililar with the licensing laws, then click here Leeds Landlords

And if you want to sell your property in the licensing areas, then we always have investords waiting for the right deal – so post your property now Sell your home in Leeds

Property Investor Show 2019

Jo will be speaking! 

Join her at 12.20pm on Friday October 4th in Room 6.  

She will be taking you through the benefits of investing in Leeds and the surrounding areas where yields of 10% and ROI’s of 25% are common place.

This is the most comprehensive exhibition of UK & International residential property and services.

About The Show

The UK’s premier property expo is the “MUST ATTEND” event for anyone serious about making money from property investment. As always the show is FREE to enter.

It is the ideal place for networking, obtaining reliable and up to date property market information and, of course, property to buy. It is designed to cater for all levels of property experience – everyone from the novice to the seasoned investor will find an answer to their questions.

With 125+ exhibitors expected and approximately 75 seminars, presentations and panel debates scheduled, you can identify the expertise and advice you need to make the right decisions on your specific area of investment interest.

Approximately 25% of the floor space will be dedicated to International property and provides the opportunity to compare established overseas markets such as USA, Cyprus & Portugal with emerging/newer/long-haul locations e.g. New Zealand, India, Dubai, Cape Verde, The Gambia & Nigeria. International agents and developers will be present alongside specialists who can advise on the process of buying, selling, and even moving overseas.

Show highlights will include …

Residency thru Investment

At last count, 23 countries from Cyprus to Singapore offered some kind of investment residency or citizenship scheme and more are being created with similar programmes proliferating across Europe. Almost half of all EU member states now offer some form of investment residency or citizenship programme – and of course, the USA offers its EB-5 programme.

Landlord Live

Every year since 2002, this show has witnessed the largest single gathering of Landlords at ANY property event staged in the UK – creating, by default, the ultimate Landlord forum. The typical visitor owns 4+ properties (35% own 10+ properties).

Mortgage, Lending & Finance

Veteran and novice investors can discuss a range of purchase, bridging and refurb’ loans from a broad range of ‘High Street’ and specialist lenders – including several crowdfunders.

Innovation … What’s New?

A rapidly emerging sector in the Technology space, the methods by which property is handled, managed and experienced are undergoing something of a revolution.  And it’s not just the
mushrooming of online estate agency – many other aspects are ripe for a technological overhaul.

Property Development Finance

The last 2 years has witnessed a marked increase in development amongst BTL investors. Projects may vary in scale from cosmetic refurbs to complex re-builds … but most require finance. Meet the specialists at this show.

Direct from the Developer                                                                  

As the name suggests this show feature offers a unique opportunity to meet and negotiate directly with a range of leading developers. The list includes several big names from the North & South of England.


HMO investments – and the high net rental yield potential they offer – have been rapidly growing in popularity among investors in recent years. This year’s show will include representation from several of the UK’s HMO experts.

Nigeria Invest

The ONLY UK showcase of property from a selection of African countries presented in the UK this year will present a mix of residential and BTL property from a selection of leading developers and agents.

Jo’s Pendsey Trust June Fundraiser – Help me send 5 children to school!

My son Oliver has been insulin dependent since 6 years old, despite being an extremely difficult condition to manage, we are grateful to have the NHS and we do not have to worry about the cost of diabetes supplies.

In 2017, for my 40th birthday, we visited The Dream Trust diabetes clinic in Nagpur, India, which is The Pendsey Trusts partner clinic – they treat anyone who has Type 1 Diabetes without discrimination of age, gender, caste (social class), sexuality or other demographic, including the ability to pay.

We met many young people who do not have access to insulin and as a result, their lives are at immediate risk. Despite the clinic’s best efforts and dedication of the staff and volunteers, resources are limited and the clinic receives no public funding.

The Pendsey Trust has a sustainable solution; families in the UK can cover immediate medical costs of a young person, alongside the charity funding education, business start-ups and vocational training which allows these children and young people to have a sustainable future despite T1D (Type 1 Diabetes).

The Pendsey Trust has many success stories, check out the facebook page and see how their approach breaks the cycle of poverty and addresses gender inequality.

Please join me in donating or raising money throughout the month of June, I would love to raise enough to send 5 children to school at cost £40 each. I have seen for myself the difference this will make in the life of a young person and how it will enable them to have the same life experiences as my son.

If you can donate, I really appreciate it and believe me, every penny donated gets through to the children as Pendsey Trust is run entirely by volunteers.

If you can’t afford to donate please share this fundraiser as every share can generate as much as £11.  

Thank you.

Progressive Property Network Event, Sheffield

On the 28th May, the Progressive Property Network will be holding their next event in Sheffield at the Mercure Hotel.

Jo will be one of the keynote speakers at the event revealing her Top Sourcing Secrets!

Whether you are a property novice or established developer, book your ticket now! 


Who are the Progressive Property Network?

Progressive Property Network operates Nationwide, where they facilitate local Property-focused Networking meetings on a monthly basis.

Industry-leading Property Professionals deliver inspiring keynote speeches at each event on a variety of property investment strategies, ever-changing legislation, Joint Ventures and more. They are designed to give you the knowledge you need to succeed on your journey.

They help to provide the most up-to-date, informative and actionable content from industry professionals. They aim to put you in a position of knowledge, which gives you the power to act, the passion to succeed and the accountability you need to keep moving forward.

Whether you are a property novice or a seasoned developer – Progressive Property Network has something to offer you.

Next Event: 28th May 2019

Venue: Mercure
Hotel, Britannia Way, Catcliffe, Rotherham, Yorkshire S60 5BD (formerly the
Aston Hotel, if using satnav please either still search for the Aston Hotel or
use the Post Code)

Time: They encourage guests to arrive anytime after 6.45pm

Book Your Ticket Now! 


Why Invest in Pontefract?

Pontefract is a historic market town in West Yorkshire, England, near the A1 and the M62 motorways and is home to more than 30,000 people.  It’s a thriving market town and has been since the middle ages. The town is full of quirky independent retailers and it’s a unique town with a Norman Castle, cobbled streets and the smell of liquorice coming from the local sweet factories.  It has a history ranging from horse racing and secret ballots to King Richard II and delicious Pontefract Cakes!

Horse Racing

The history of horse racing in Pontefract dates back as far as 1648!  Before the local castle was taken by the troops of Oliver Cromwell.  The races were originally held in the meadows surrounding the town and during the Second World War, Pontefract was one of only two Northern courses allowed to hold racing.  The modern-day race course is a testing 2-mile track with an uphill section in the final furlongs.  It is one of the longest continuous flat racing circuits in Europe with one of the longest races in the calendar at 2 miles 5 furlongs 133 yards!

Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle dates back to 1070!  It was once known as England’s most feared fort which, nowadays is difficult to imagine as the castle lies in ruins but it was a huge structure.  Its reputation was that renowned, that the castle was mentioned in the works of Shakespeare.  It has a history of conflict, death and destruction!  The castle was the location of Richard II’s murder and hundreds were killed in the famous Wars of the Roses.   Oliver Cromwell had a hatred of Pontefract Castle, as it caused him no end of trouble in the civil war and plotted to destroy it at the first opportunity, which he did shortly after 1648.

Liquorice, Pontefract Cakes & Haribo!

Pontefract is the liquorice capital of England.  Its deep, sandy soil made it one of the few places in which liquorice could be successfully grown.  Although the plant is no longer grown there, the town has two major factories where they produce liquorice sweets and the famous Pontefract Cakes.  One of the factories is owned by Haribo.  Haribo, the world’s biggest manufacturer of fruit gums and liquorice products acquired a majority stake in the English firm Dunhills in Pontefract in 1972 and they kept the traditional lines. The famous round liquorice Pontefract Cakes are still produced today! It is now Haribo Dunhills’ most traditional product amoung their other popular liquorice and fruit gum sweets, yummy!  The Pontefract cake (a liquorice lozenge) was once used as a medicine in the 18th century but I’m not sure what it was supposed to cure!

The Rhubarb Triangle!

Not as exciting as the Bermuda Triangle, the Rhubarb triangle is a 9 square mile patch of land that sits between Pontefract, Wakefield and Rothwell.  From January to March, fuchsia-pink forced rhubarb is still picked by hand!  Rhubarb comes from Siberia and likes the cold and rain, which we have plenty of in Yorkshire! 
Once the rhubarb has been picked, it is grown in dark warm barns which forces it to grow towards the light hence the name forced rhubarb.  Nowadays, there are only 11 growers left, so get some while you can!

Pontefract, the future

Pontefract has been known as the key to the north.  It sits between the M62 & A1 meaning it’s only a short drive to Leeds, Wakefield &  Manchester.  There are many distribution centres are based in the area with the ‘euro’ connection for road hauliers and there are four International Airports, Leeds Bradford, Robin hood, Manchester and Nottingham East Midlands. (Not that we’re being greedy!)

It’s become a magnet for many people priced out of Leeds and has many exciting new developments and services.  A new rail service is already underway from Knottingley to Wakefield, Westgate and Leeds, so quicker to get to work or just go shopping!  The local authority has plans for £1m leisure investment, including a new library and a gym, perfect to get ready for the 3 days of summer!

Just a short drive away at junction 32 of the M62 will be the Axiom development, a huge regional shopping centre due to launch in 2021 with 600,000sq ft of retail floorspace and around 75 units. Pre-lets are already secured with Next, Primark (yay!), Marks & Spencer and Boots.  

Castleford, which is around 10 minutes’ drive away, is to have a £750m transform creating thousands of new jobs and green spaces and a £15 million leisure hub is planned for the town due to be open by 2020.

In conclusion, Pontefract is a friendly, modern town and offers easy connections to the whole of the UK and beyond. With a house price average of just £149,000 it makes it an affordable alternative to Leeds or even Wakefield. A quality mix of high street and independent shops, good schools and lively cultural events all add up to make Pontefract a highly desirable place to live, love, work and invest!

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