Applications for Nottingham Licensing Scheme at Just 10 per cent

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Nottingham’s new licensing scheme has received applications from 10 per cent of the city’s buy to let investors despite the August 1st deadline being upon us.

The scheme was designed to improve the standard of rented accommodation in the city but has been dubbed a ‘shambles’ by landlords. Some have claimed that they will be forced to pass the costs onto tenants. Others will sell up.

Nottingham City Council received approval to introduce Selective Licensing in parts of the city earlier this year. It aimed to license properties in areas including the city centre, Lenton, Hyson Green, Sherwood, St Ann’s, Bulwell and The Meadows.

Having a licence means the council can check properties are safe to rent.

Around 32,000 properties require a licence, however the local authority has only received 3,140 applications. The deadline is is August 1st.

However, landlords have argued that the scheme is ‘complex’ and has been poorly considered.

Director of Liberty Gate, a letting agent in the area working with around 80 landlords for the scheme, said: ‘This is ruining the private rented sector in Nottingham. 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. 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.’

A spokeswoman for Nottingham City Council said: ‘We are working with landlords and letting agents to ensure as many as possible apply before August 1. If after August 1 landlords haven’t applied for a licence they do run the risk of a fine of up to £30,000, but the council will seek to work with those landlords. Issuing fines or seeking to prosecute landlords would be a last resort if the landlord is not engaging with the council. We are working with landlords who have a significant number of properties and when there is a genuine difficulty in completing applications by August 1, the application deadline may be extended by up to three months. Any landlord who is concerned about the deadline can contact the council to discuss this.’

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