In common with several other parts of the country, landlords in the Sheffield Council area may be forced to apply for special licences before that can let their properties in one part of the city.
These schemes are designed to “protect vulnerable tenants” as well as stopping the proliferation of bed sits, councils claim.
Not surprisingly, landlords in these areas don’t agree, especially as the schemes impose licence fees in the order of £750 per property every 5 years. Many landlords claim these ideas are simply money making schemes for cash strapped councils.
Some landlords claim that councils do not effectively use the powers they already have to tackle the rouge landlords in their midst. “It’s frustrating to see these rouges getting away with it when good landlords are doing their best to follow the rules”, said one landlord.
Under the Housing Act 2004, councils are able to introduce selective licensing of private landlords after going through a process of public consultations.
To implement the scheme the council must show that this would benefit the area, and in order to let their properties landlords would then have to prove they are a “fit and proper” person to be a landlord.
Landlords will also be required to meet strict safety regulations in their properties and show that they have tenancy agreements in place for all their lets.
The council claim the measure has been brought on by the steep increase in irresponsible landlords operating in the affected area of Page Hall.
If the council implements the scheme it will mean that any landlord operating without a licence will be subject to a fine of up to £20,000.
However, landlords operating in the area claim that most landlords simply can’t afford the fees in such a deprived area and that all that will happen is that they will attempt to recover the cost by adding it to rents. This will probably result in more abandoned properties, was their view.