Nottingham benefits landlord Mick Roberts (main pic, inset) has blamed the city’s licensing schemes for rising rents and homelessness.
Roberts argues that fees are forcing landlords to either increase rental prices to avoid being out of pocket, or to sell their properties, leading to fewer rental properties in the city centre.
The cost of renting in Nottingham increased by 20% in the year to October 2023, with the average renter now paying £970 a month, according to ONS data, while Shelter’s new report shows Nottingham Council as having the highest homelessness rate across Nottinghamshire.
Roberts tells Nottinghamshire Live that vulnerable, low-earning tenants are particularly badly hit. “It’s supposed to be making houses better for tenants, but it’s definitely making houses more expensive for tenants,” says Roberts. “They (the council) are blinded by a few bad landlords they have seen. They think all tenants can’t stand landlords.”
Nottingham runs mandatory, additional and selective licensing – the latest scheme was launched last month.
Roberts says selective licensing will cost him about £890 per property and argues: “If the last licensing scheme was so successful then why do we need a new one, or if the last scheme was that rubbish, then why are they bringing a new one in?”
He believes that these schemes are driving good landlords away. Adds Roberts: “That’s what licensing does, it makes them pack it up and then vulnerable tenants have to pay more.”
A council spokesman says its schemes allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide good accommodation for renters. He adds: “Where problems arise, it means we can take swift action to ensure landlords address them or, in the worst cases, prosecute and remove their right to hold a licence.”