Yet another council is proposing a licence on properties let out in the private rental sector - this time suggesting one of the country’s highest fees of £580 per home.
The Middlesbrough Gazxette reports that the local council wants to introduce selective licensing in one area, North Ormesby, and is now consulting on fees.
The familiar justifications have been made for the introduction of the system, saying that licensing would reduce alleged incidents of anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of housing.
However, the licence cost is unusually high at £580 per property for five years. The newspaper reports that this would be paid in two instalments: £290 to be paid immediately on application and a further £290 to be paid within the first 12 to 18 months of the scheme.
“The council believes that good maintenance and management of private rented properties is essential for North Ormesby to improve, and that selective licensing will ensure rogue landlords improve their benefits and management, which will further benefit the other good landlords” councillor Mick Thompson, executive member for communities and public health, is quoted as saying at an authority meeting to discuss the issue.
At the same meeting it was said that licensing costs may lead to rent increases.
The licensing of 780 properties in the area is is set to raise £470,000 for the council, which will use the funds to hire a dedicated neighbourhood safety officer, a solicitor and an additional environmental health officer.