Luton Council is making yet another attempt to bring in two new licensing schemes after a string of false starts amid landlord opposition.
Its overview and scrutiny board has agreed to recommend a town-wide additional scheme as well as a selective scheme in South ward, which now need executive approval and could be up and running by July.
The authority tried to introduce a scheme in 2018 after its previous additional licensing scheme ended, but faced significant local opposition and went silent about its plans until December 2019.
But campaign group Luton Landlords and Letting Agents Ltd ' made up of agents, landlords and concerned residents - launched a legal challenge, forcing the council to admit errors and the scheme was put on hold. It last announced new plans in January 2022, but they failed to materialise.
Service director housing Colin Moone told the board meeting there were 4,500 HMOs in the town, with more than 3,800 falling outside of the mandatory licensing scheme, reports Luton Today.
Although he said it had got everything right, there was likely to be another legal challenge.
'There are landlords vehemently against licensing who believe we've got powers currently and don't need this scheme,' he explained. 'This is the third attempt in the last three years. A core set of landlords definitely aren't supportive.'
Moone (pictured) told councillors that fees of £488 would remain the same because it did not want to put more pressure on private tenants. He also assured them that the council had sufficient resources to enforce take-up of the schemes.
He added: 'If we have to do a blitz one day or one evening around HMOs, we'll consider how. If not enough landlords register, we'll need to decide how we go about getting those HMOs.'