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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agents warned as council postpones licensing clampdown

A local authority has postponed the extension of its private rental sector licensing regime - but it’s warning agents not to take advantage of the situation.

Newcastle city council says that to minimise the risk of Coronavirus spreading, the deadline for landlords to apply for a licence and comply with its new additional and selective licensing schemes has been extended from April 6 to July 6.  

A statement from the council says: “This change means no enforcement action will be taken for at least three months following the start of the schemes on April 6.”

However, it has told agents and landlords that they must follow government guidelines on private rental housing and it is encouraging anyone worried about meeting the deadline or who is struggling to pay the licence fee as a result of Coronavirus to get in touch. 

The council has also published guidance on complying with the scheme which includes advice on what Coronavirus means for anyone who owns a rented home and the support available for landlords and letting agents during the pandemic.  

A council spokeswoman says: “Property licensing is a key part of our commitment to improving standards in the private rented sector but recognise that it may be difficult for some to comply with the original deadline due to the impact of Coronavirus.

“We believe that the extension to the deadline, together with the advice and support we are offering, is the best way to support landlords and letting agents in these unprecedented times.”

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