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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Shock figures: low take-up for licensing scheme that starts tomorrow

It appears that take-up of an apparently compulsory licensing scheme in one city has been shockingly low - and the scheme comes into effect tomorrow.

The scheme is in Nottingham where the council is introducing a new selective licensing regime covering an estimated 32,000 privately rented homes.

This is an estimated 91 per cent of all rental properties making it the second scheme in the UK outside of London according to some industry experts.

However, local media reports in recent days have suggested that applications have been received from only 10 per cent of the city's properties. 

Accredited landlords have to pay £480 per property while non-accredited pay £780. Out of the 32,000 properties needing a licence it appears only 3,140 applications were received up to the end of last week according to the Nottinghamshire Live news website. 

The story quotes David Thomas, director of the Liberty Gate lettings agency in the town, as saying: "The council has not informed one single landlord directly. It is an absolute shambles. To get all these properties done in one month was impossible from the start. They are lucky they have 3,140. It can take weeks to get one application through and I have 120 I need to submit.”

He adds: "Rent will go up immediately - £25 a month to recover it over the long term. It is an expense that landlords never factored in and they need to pay the mortgage. Some landlords are having to pay for 50 properties - and the people who are feeling the pain are the tenants.

"The majority are saying 'we need to put the rent up' while 25 percent are selling up. There will be more people who are homeless. The only ones who are winning are the council by raising £20m from this."

In addition, the news website quotes landlord Jackie Standen was has 35 units in the city - they have been in her family for the last 30 years but the council's scheme is obliging her to sell up. 

"It's really sad. It's £16,000 in one hit and we can't afford it with everything else. If you are a good landlord you spend money every month putting money back into the property. We only rent properties that we would live in ourselves. I understand there are rogue landlords but having this licensing scheme will not bring them out the woodwork” she insists.

"Nottingham City Council has become ridiculous. We are fed up. It is one of the reasons we have decided to sell. There are other councils that will welcome good landlords with open arms. We don't know what is coming next."

Poll: This shows that councils regard licensing as just revenue-raising schemes

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Let’s suppose that the agent reporting a 25% exit rate for landlords was absurdly over-egging his statistic. Let’s call it 2.5% exit rate. That’s 800 properties for sale. Given landlords aren’t buying so much, tenants will be kicked out for vacant possession. Homelessness will rise. Meanwhile, I’m seeing rents rising. This is not good for tenants who are “just about managing”. On benefits? Good luck... It is the poor and vulnerable who will be hurt most.

    I’ve spent 20 years promoting regulation of agents and landlords, to raise standards. But this scheme does not meet the “Better Regulation” principles of being targeted and proportionate. And it will take £20million-plus out of the city economy. I’m looking forward to comparing the scheme business plan with the reality in due course.

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    I think it’s unlikely that landlords will sell multiple properties in one go, they’ll get clobbered for CGT. However this is clearly a shambles and the net result will be rents increasing. The government and local councils don’t appear to have a clue, tenants will inevitably lose out and landlords are about sick of the whole industry and I can’t blame them.

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    Hope that the council pay the price when they come up for reelection. These schemes are a con & sorry Paul but I have already started selling off my portfolio. What with Universal credit , licencing scheme's , all the extra unnecessary regulations. I might as well sell up & put my feet up on a beach.

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    Amazing that so called Tenant support groups are not voicing their concerns !

    There needs to be a concerted publicity campaign to Tenants of the effects of this governments policies ( Nearly ALL of which are either Reducing accomodation or Increasing Rents ! ) e.g Licensing, Sec 24, HMO room size reductions....

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