Michael Gove has given Nottingham city council the green light to proceed with one of the UK’s most expensive and controversial selective licensing schemes.
Due to start on December 1st, it will require all rented properties within 20 of its wards to be licenced and has been voted through despite vociferous opposition from local landlords, as LandlordZONE has reported in recent months, including how both the NRLA and EMPO have slammed the scheme.
Some 30,000 properties will be covered by the new rules which, although it is slightly smaller than the previous one that expires today, remains large enough to need Secretary of State approval.
The council has justified the move by claiming it will give private tenants “better quality accommodation and management as well as protection from bad landlords”, a council statement says.
“Tenants will also know what is expected of their landlord in terms of the maintenance, safety and management of their home.
“It will be introduced into areas of the city where the council has gathered evidence of poorer property conditions.
“Landlords of private rented properties in certain parts of the city will soon have to meet a set of conditions and ensure good management of their properties.”
The council appears to have listened to some landlords concerns, saying it is simplifying the labyrinthine form landlords and agents were forced to use when applying for the previous scheme, which ran from 2018 until now.
Landlords with licences under that scheme will not need to apply for a new one until their existing one runs out, while those with properties covered by the scheme for the first time will need to apply after September 1st.
Its higher fees, which have been described by the NRLA as a ‘tax on landlords’ will be £1,118 over five years for non-accredited’ landlords – with accredited ones paying a lower fee.
‘Accredited’ means landlords who have Nottingham Rental Standard Accreditation via DASH or Unipol.
Councillor Jay Hayes (pictured), the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, says: “Having a licence will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide decent quality accommodation for tenants, and we will work with landlords to support them to achieve the licence conditions.
“We believe the scheme will improve the reputation of private landlords, as well as Nottingham’s reputation for providing quality housing.”