Southend landlords are frustrated by their council’s licensing registration system which doesn’t make clear that the scheme has been put on hold or how much it will cost.
It was scheduled to start on 1st December but councillors at the Essex town council complained they lacked details about how it would work.
But landlords hoping to get an early bird discount aren’t being told that there has been a delay, including Josie Hawes, from Billericay, who runs a family business with 10 rental properties, one of which is within the new licensing area.
She tells LandlordZONE that she spent two days filling out forms without realising the scheme was on hold.
Josie adds: “I only found out about the delay by looking at news articles when I was confused about only being charged £3.
“I then emailed the council who said that only the payment had been put on hold until it goes back to cabinet to confirm cost. I used their specific selective licensing email address and that doesn’t even work.”
Southend Council’s website says it is currently unable to accept payment for licence applications but that it will accept applications online and will pre-approve those submitted.
It adds: “When the payments are able to be processed we will contact you…you will still receive your discount if a valid application is received by 1st April 2022.”
Ian Gilbert (pictured), leader of the council, says: “Those landlords who have applied since 1st December have been charged a nominal fee to recognise their application, but until approval from the council we cannot provide an accurate cost. We will update landlords as soon as we are able.”