Nottingham landlords have reacted angrily to an impending hefty rise in licensing fees, claiming it will hit tenants hard at a time when many can least afford it.
The city council (pictured) wants to increase the cost of its additional and mandatory licence scheme fees from April, which means most landlords will pay more than £1,000 per HMO – an additional cost that will add 5-6% to rent bills each month.
EMPO’s business development manager, Giles Inman, tells LandlordZONE it’s disappointing that the council is proposing to put up fees at the very time that renters are worried about how to make ends meet – particularly as so many HMO tenants are young people in jobs hit hard by the pandemic.
He adds: “Despite this, it’s really humbling to see many Nottingham landlords prepared to enter into discussions about rent rather than to seek possession to help out tenants who are experiencing financial hardship at this time.”
EMPO wants the council to wait until the crisis is over before making these decisions, however, councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, says it’s already waited more than a year.
“Our 2019 review indicated that an increase would be necessary in April 2020,” Woodings (pictured) explains.
“In order to support landlords during the Covid-19 pandemic, we held off on these fee increases, but we cannot continue to do this indefinitely.
The cost of the licence fee pays for the running of the service and the council is not allowed to make a profit from this. But this does mean that fee rises are sometimes needed to cover increased operational costs.”
The standard fee will rise from £1,330 to £1,450, while less compliant landlords will pay £1,850 (up from £1,720) and accredited landlords will pay £1,280 (up from £990).