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Brum council: ‘We’re bankrupt but still enforcing new selective licencing scheme’

Birmingham Council has confirmed to LandlordZONE that its selective licensing scheme will continue to be enforced despite its dire financial situation.

The authority issued a section 114 notice earlier this month, effectively declaring bankruptcy, mainly due to a bill to settle equal pay claims which is expected to be about £760m.

However, it insists it has a statutory duty to administer both the selective and additional licensing schemes which were approved by the DLUHC.

A spokesman tells LandlordZONE: “The fees received are ring-fenced for use by the schemes and cannot be used elsewhere in the council. The service has received approval from the Section 151 officer to continue delivering the service as planned.”


Many landlords with properties in the city will no doubt be disappointed that compliance activities are scheduled to continue.

LandlordZONE reported earlier this month that thousands faced being hit with a big fine as only a small percentage had applied before the 1st September deadline.

The selective scheme covers up to 50,000 properties across 25 wards – the largest in the UK – but the council now reports that it has received more than 18,400 applications and issued nearly 4,000 draft or final licences. If they have not completed an application, landlords could face a fine of between £5,000 to £15,000.

The spokesman adds: “Landlords can get more information by visiting or by emailing for advice.”

It’s expected that the council will soon announce council tax rises, job losses, service cuts and asset sales as part of a recovery plan, following the government’s decision to intervene in the running of the authority.


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