Nottingham Council Approves Plans for Licence Scheme

Property investors in Nottingham may now require a licence to let properties in the buy to let sector, following the approval of plans to introduce a selective licensing scheme.

Nottingham council’s executive board voted unanimously in approval of the scheme following a revision of the initial plans, which took place after a consultation with landlords and tenants. The rationale behind the scheme is that it will improve housing standards in the city’s private rental sector.

The scheme has now been referred to central government for final approval, which, if granted, will see the scheme introduced in April 2018.

The initial announcement of the scheme claimed that it would be used to reduce anti-social behavior and tackle rogue landlords in Nottingham. However, changes made to the scheme during the consultation phase means that the proposals no longer encompass the entire city. Instead, the scheme will focus on areas that contain a high proportion of private rental properties. This means around 3,700 fewer homes will be included.

The council is also hoping to encourage more landlords to join independent accreditation organisations, such as the Residential Landlords Association or the National Landlords Association. The have aimed to incentivize this by reducing the cost of the scheme for landlords who already have accreditation, from £460 down to £400. The cost of a licence for non-accredited landlords is likely to be £655 over the five-year period of the scheme.

The city council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: ‘The introduction of a licensing scheme for private landlords was a key commitment made in our Council Plan. The majority of private tenants who responded to the consultation were in favour of a scheme. We have listened carefully to the issues raised in the consultation and made changes to the proposed scheme without losing focus on the improvements it sets to achieve in the overall standard of private rented housing in the city. Reducing the cost of the licence for landlords who have accreditation creates even more of an incentive for landlords to obtain it to demonstrate that they meet the required standards so we would encourage them to make an application now via DASH or Unipol.’

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