A group of landlords in Oldham have said they are going to present the council with a petition against the town's selective licensing scheme.
Local landlord Zahoor Ahmed told the Oldham Evening Chronicle that he has a petition in opposition to selective licensing which has been signed by 150 landlords.
“Last year I was letting out a property and the tenant left without paying six months rent. Why aren’t they protecting landlords? This is unfair on a lot of people,” he told the newspaper.
Oldham Council has designated 16 areas in eight districts on the grounds of low housing demand.
Licensing has already been rolled out in St. Mary's from May 1, and Hathershaw and Waterhead from July 6.
Additional schemes are set to be introduced in Hollinwood and Primrose Bank from September 1 and in Coldhurst, Alexandra and Oldham Edge from January 1 2016.
Oldham Council is charging landlords a licence fee of £490 per rented property, covering a five-year period.
A council spokesperson commented: “Many rented properties fail to meet the required standards, which can have a terrible impact on tenants.”
“This scheme aims to ensure private landlords meet satisfactory standards. Landlords need to show basic safety checks have been carried out and they have appropriate management arrangements. All the money that comes in is put straight back into the scheme.”
Oldham Council ran a consultation on the selective licensing scheme which ended on September 30 last year.
Some 80% of 3,672 residents who took part agreed that selective licensing would help improve the proposed areas and 85% said they feel that the council should have more control over the way private landlords manage their properties.
Of the 249 landlords that responded to the consultation, just 20% agreed that landlord licensing would have a positive impact in the proposed areas.
“It is clear from the consultation that our residents, including tenants in private sector homes, back our plans. Good landlords have nothing to fear from this scheme,” said Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport.
“Some landlords have expressed that they think it’s wrong to target all landlords and we have some sympathy with this view. However, selective licensing treats all landlords in an area the same and creates a level playing field.”
This is the latest backlash from landlords against selective licensing schemes. Just last week a group of agents and landlords failed in its attempt to force Croydon Council to reconsider its proposed licensing scheme.
From October, Croydon landlords will be required to pay a licence fee of £750 every five years for each rental property they own.
*Graham Norwood is away on annual leave until August 28th. Conor Shilling will be undertaking editorial duties in his absence. Please send any press enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org