A group of activists has expressed outrage over a council’s private rental licensing scheme, claiming it is too small to catch what it calls “rogue landlords”.
Activists’ group Acorn says Newcastle council’s proposed scheme - approved this week by councillors - is inadequate.
Acorn has tweeted: “A victory for private tenants in Newcastle. Today the council passed a recommendation for selective and additional licensing in the city. The area is TOO SMALL and this recommendation to partially licence is NOT ENOUGH. Join us to fight for more.”
Earlier the council backed a proposal to introduce a licensing scheme - with landlords having to pay up to £750 per property - applying to 9,377 HMOs and a further 3,664 privately let units.
However, this is some 5,500 units less than an original proposal which never got off the starting blocks - and it’s this larger proposal that the Acorn activists now want.
The larger proposal had been the subject of a formal consultation process, at which the Residential Landlords Association raised several concerns, including that it is likely only good landlords would apply for the licence, while criminal landlords will simply ignore the scheme.
According to the council, of those who responded to the licensing consultation, 85 per cent of landlords and agents believed licensing would not improve areas and 76 per cent disapproved of the schemes.