The campaign group ACORN, which has in the past organised protests outside letting agency offices, is up in arms that a council has done a U-turn on landlord licensing.
Last week Letting Agent Today reported that North Somerset council scrapped its proposal to introduce a licensing campaign for private sector landlords following large-scale opposition and the formation of a protest group by over 50 landlords.
The group - Somerset Property Network - had emerged via a Facebook campaign with its members angry about each of their properties facing a five-yearly charge of £350 if the licensing proposal went through. The campaign was sponsored by an agency, TR Online Lettings.
However, now ACORN says it is organising tenants in Weston Super Mare in protest at the council’s about-face.
The Bristol Post reports that a local group has been set up, with spokesman Alan Rice asking that if the landlords organised so quickly “what they are so scared of?"
He claims that half of all residents in one particular ward of West Super Mare live in the private rented sector with one third of the properties in question apparently deemed officially “non-decent”, making the ward amongst the worst one per cent of all council wards in England.
“And the landlords say they don't need licensing and they see no deprivation?" he adds.
The group has in the past claimed the credit for the local authority in Bristol extending its licensing regime, and for Bristol council introducing a ‘West of England Rental Standard’ on top of the various other licensing measures introduced by individual councils throughout the region.