Plans for a new selective licensing scheme in Telford have been described as ‘badly thought out’ by private landlords in the area.
Landlords have reacted negatively to the suggestion by Telford and Wrekin Council that Selective Licensing should be introduced in certain parts of town in order to improve poorly managed properties in the private rental sector.
Initial plans for the scheme would see private landlords and letting agents in Hadley and Leegomery, Malinslee and Hollinswood, Brookside and Sutton Hill and Woodside required to apply for a five-year licence. This would cost them just over £600.
The Council’s Cabinet are being encouraged to approve the plans under the insistence that the programme would improve standards in the sector. Landlords would be required to meet several conditions under the terms of the scheme which would ensure the safety of tenants and the proper management of homes.
Failure to comply with license conditions could lead to landlords facing fines of up to £5,000 per offence. Should investors fail license the property in the first place, a £20,000 fine would be applicable.
However, the Wreckin Landlords Association have hit back at the plans, describing them as ‘badly thought out.’ The organization described the move as ‘nothing but another tax’ and ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for landlords already stifled by regulation. Some members of the group have vowed to sell up rather than pay the license fee, a factor that the Association claims could drive rents up in the local area by creating an imbalance between supply and demand.
In reaction to the license plans, the group have launched a petition: ‘Stop Selective Licensing Proposed for Telford.’
Wrekin Landlords Association’s chairman Bernie Lewis said: ‘The council appears to be blaming private landlords for anti-social behaviour and littering, which is nonsense. The council should concentrate on identifying the perpetrators who litter and carry out anti-social behaviour and use the laws that are already here to deal with it. Hard-hit local private residential landlords have had enough. Many are planning to get out of the business. It has all become too much for many small landlords.’