Nottingham Council says that although it will listen to landlords whose tenants are not keeping up with their rent, non-payment of fees will put licensing applications at risk.
Nottingham Council is threatening to turn down selective licenses if payments miss the deadline – despite Government advice to go easy on landlords.
Property owners in the city have been emailed during the crisis saying they’re still required to make payments, even though some have reported drops in their income as tenants struggle to pay their rent.
It costs £890 for non-accredited landlords and £670 for those with accreditation, payable in two instalments.
A council email tells landlords: “You are now required to make the second part of your licence fee payment. There may be additional payments which have been added to your second payment. All fees should be paid within 14 days. If you do not pay the second part of your licence, the council may review its decision to grant a licence and re-issue a draft refusal.”
The current Coronavirus guidance for local authorities tells councils to ‘take individual landlords’ circumstances into account where licence fee payments may have been delayed due to the current situation.’
However, the council says it’s encouraging landlords to get in touch with them if they are having difficulty paying.
Councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, says: “We are aware that some landlords will be having a tough time, with the loss of rental income and other financial difficulties. We are listening and would encourage them to contact us if this is affecting them and their ability to make an application.”
The National Residential Landlords Association wants Nottingham Council to take a pragmatic approach and suspend licence fees given the current financial pressures. Policy manager John Stewart tells LandlordZONE: “Every cost a landlord faces makes it more difficult for them to be as flexible as possible when tenants are struggling.”