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RLA blasts £600 landlord licence bid in Nottingham

Friday 20 January 2017

A bid to introduce licenses for landlords to prove they and their properties meet certain standards, will punish honest people while criminals carry on, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) says.
The move by Nottingham City Council was sparked by fears that a surge in privately rented housing has led to poor standards.
The licenses, anticipated to cost £600 for five years, could net the council more than £25 million from the city's 43,000 plus privately rented properties.
The RLA is set to oppose the scheme in a consultation, which runs until March 31.
Chairman Alan Ward said: "All this scheme will do is punish good landlords who will be forced to pay for costly licences while the criminals continue to operate below the radar – while raking in millions of pounds for the council.
“Local authorities already have the powers to effectively monitor landlords through council tax documentation, with 96 per cent able to collect landlords’ data on these forms.
“What they need to concentrate on is taking enforcement action against the criminal landlords who, while in the minority, are out there.”
Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning and housing, said:  "Many of the 43,000 plus privately rented properties in the city are well-managed but, judging by the more than 4,500 complaints from private tenants we have dealt with over the last four years, a significant number aren’t.
"Poorly managed properties also cause problems for local neighbourhoods affected by the crime and anti-social behaviour that can results.
“People renting privately have a right to expect a decent standard of accommodation."
She said the selective licensing scheme would "bring benefits for tenants, local communities and council tax payers by reducing the cost of enforcement action necessary".
It would also help landlords, she claimed: "By obtaining a license at a reasonable cost, they will be able to clearly demonstrate to prospective tenants that they meet required standards."
The council claims the amount of privately rented housing in Nottingham increased by 12 per cent between 2001 and 2011 according to Census data, and has risen 'significantly further still' in the last five years.
If approved the scheme could be introduced by Spring 2018.

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