Birmingham landlords in 25 of the city’s wards could soon have to apply for a licence if a massive new scheme gets the green light.
The council has launched a consultation to get landlords’ and residents’ views on the plan which, because of its size, would need approval from Housing Minister Michael Gove.
In June 2020, Birmingham introduced a city-wide Article 4 direction, meaning that planning approval is required to convert a family house to any size HMO. A licensing scheme currently only exists for its 6,121 HMOs.
Under the proposed selective licensing scheme, all private landlords in the 25 wards that have been identified as having a high proportion of private rented housing and deprivation, would need a licence.
It aims to provide a level playing field for good landlords and reduce the risk of tenant exploitation, as well as to reduce crime and deprivation.
The council says it recognises the good work of many private sector landlords in providing quality accommodation for their tenants and has pledged to continue working with the PRS to ensure all landlords provide properties to the same standard.
It also wants to understand the difficulties that landlords face and to help them offer long-term sustainable tenancies.
Shabrana Hussain, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, says the scheme will contribute to the council’s aim of introducing more enforcement and licensing within the sector.
She adds: “I would encourage everyone to provide their views on the proposed scheme. It is only through listening to our residents and communities that we can ensure the licensing scheme focuses on what matters to local residents.”
The consultation runs until 3rd January 2022 at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk