Angry landlords in Shropshire have set up an online petition against local council proposals to introduce selective licensing.
The Wrekin Landlords Association says Telford and Wrekin council’s scheme to licence private landlords in seven locations - at £160 a time - will raise £1.2m for the authority but will ultimately be paid by tenants because rents will have to increase as a result.
“The council appears to be blaming private landlords for anti social behaviour and littering which is a nonsense. The council should concentrate on identifying the perpetrators who litter and carry out anti social behaviour and use the laws that are already here to deal with it” says Bernie Lewis, association spokesman, in an article in the Shropshire Star.
“Hard hit local private residential landlords have had enough. Many are planning to get out of the business. It has all become too much for many small landlords” he says.
Under the scheme, landlords and letting agents in Hadley, Leegomery, Malinslee, Hollinswood, Brookside, Sutton Hill and Woodside would be required to apply for a five year licence. Landlords face up to a £20,000 fine if they don’t comply.
The petition - which you can see here - claims the proposal is a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
“The Equality act clearly states that it is illegal to discriminate against a person in their work place or when buying or renting property. The council has failed to prove the need for the license to every landlord therefore they are discriminating against those landlords who clearly do not need to be licensed. Many of the proposed items are already covered by law and therefore the licence is not needed” the petition claims.