Landlords licensing scheme given green light in Nottingham
Plans to force landlords in Nottingham to sign up for licences have been approved by the council, but the proposals have changed considerably.
The council's executive board voted unanimously this week to approve the revised selective licensing scheme, which aims to raise standards, reduce anti-social behaviour, and tackle rogue landlords.
The proposals no longer cover the entire city, and instead focus on areas containing a high proportion of private rented sector properties, so they affect around 3,700 fewer homes than the original scheme which was announced in February.
The council has also increased the incentive for landlords to join an independent accreditation organisation, by reducing the cost of by 13 percent for landlords who already have accreditation, from £460 down to £400.
The cost of a licence for non-accredited landlords is now proposed to be £655 over the five-year period of the scheme.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, the city council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, said: “The introduction of a licensing scheme for private landlords was a key commitment made in our Council Plan. The majority of private tenants who responded to the consultation were in favour of a scheme.
“We have listened carefully to the issues raised in the consultation and made changes to the proposed scheme without losing focus on the improvements it sets to achieve in the overall standard of private rented housing in the city.
“Reducing the cost of the licence for landlords who have accreditation creates even more of an incentive for landlords to obtain it to demonstrate that they meet the required standards so we would encourage them to make an application now via DASH or Unipol.”
But Teresa Kaczmarek, of the National Landlords Association, said: “We don’t have much faith in the idea that this will address anti-social behaviour.
“It’s just the majority who are having to pay for the actions of the minority. We feel that it’s the good landlords that are going to get registered first, so the council will be busy in the first few years dealing with the good landlords, while the bad ones will be operating without being noticed.
“By taxing landlords it will push them to push up their rates. Whatever additional conditions have to be met, they will ultimately have to be paid by the tenants.”
Now that the scheme has been rubber-stamped by the council, it must go to the secretary of state for final approval. If it gets the go-ahead it will be introduced in April 2018.