Nottingham has revealed it will charge non-accredited, less compliant HMO landlords an eye-watering £1,993 fee to join its proposed additional licensing scheme – a £273 increase on the current scheme’s fee.
Accredited landlords will pay £1,118 - up from £990 - in a city already used to having to fork out big bucks for a licence; according to the HMO Hub website, Nottingham’s mandatory HMO scheme is one of the most expensive outside London, at £1,330 for a standard application.
The authority explains that this ‘less compliant’ fee covers any additional monitoring, inspections and enforcement that might be needed, basing the figure on covering staffing levels to deal with 5,300 applications.
Nottingham Council insists that its current additional scheme has had a positive impact on HMOs, including tackling problems with waste management and anti-social behaviour.
The current additional scheme, covering parts of central Nottingham, will soon come to an end and the council hopes to introduce a new citywide scheme, which would run for five years from January 2024.
However, landlords in the city will be voicing their concerns during the current month-long consultation.
An NRLA spokesman tells LandlordZONE that it is concerned about plans to increase licensing fees across the board.
“Quite frankly the council’s licensing schemes have become a de facto tax on much needed rented housing rather than an effective tool to root out rogue and criminal landlords,” he adds.
“Given the council will be able to access details of landlords and properties on the planned national property portal and in light of plans for a decent homes standard for the sector, licencing schemes of this kind are completely redundant and should be scrapped.”
Lambeth holds the dubious honour of having the most expensive additional licensing scheme in the UK, where landlords pay £2,024 to license a four-bedroom HMO.