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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords could launch legal challenge against licensing scheme

More than 80 buy-to-let landlords in Weston-super-Mare have joined forces with a view to taking North Somerset Council to court in a bid to overturn a decision to introduce a licensing scheme across parts of the town.

The landlords attended Somerset Property Network’s first meeting last week to discuss North Somerset Council’s proposed landlord licensing scheme.

The event, which took place at the Royal Hotel, in South Parade in Weston, discussed the introduction of a new license scheme designed to improve ‘poor quality rented housing’ in Weston-super-Mare, which was slammed last month for being ‘short-sighted’ and nothing short of yet another ‘money-making exercise’ at landlords’ expense.

The recently formed Somerset Property Network strongly opposes the planned new license which will cover Central ward and part of Hillside, and cost £320 for a five-year license. The group now believes that a legal challenge is necessary to stop the initiative being introduced. For further information - click here

A spokesman for the network said: “Everyone agreed they didn’t want to sit back and take this decision by North Somerset Council.

“We have all agreed to put money into a pot to take this judicial review forward.”

However, Cllr Ap Rees has defended the licence which will carry a minimum standard criteria and anyone not meeting the benchmark could be prosecuted.

Rees said last month: “We are determined to root out rogue landlords in this area of Weston and we need to be in a position to inspect all rental properties within the selected area.

“To do that, we have to cover the costs. The basic charge is the cost of the license and the compliance visit.

“We accept that sometimes it isn’t the landlords, it may be the tenants that cause the damage but the only way to monitor that is to visit the property.

“Conscientious landlords have nothing to fear.”

  • icon

    " conscientious landlords have nothing to fear" Except yet more costs, apparently to pay for officers to do the job they are already funded to do, but are to lazy to enforce the powers they already have.
    We've all seen the programs and know how lame these officers can be. The real problem slum landlords won't be the ones who pay for a new licence

  • Nigel Spalding

    All these extra measures will mean that rents will go up because: (1) some landlords will sell, (2) others will not enter the market and (3) those remaining in the market have to cover cost increases. How does that help with the housing crisis? The poorer therefore end up paying more so that the council can attract more revenue.

  • Just Mogler

    Perhaps the local council can agree I inspect their properties against their criteria and pay me a less expensive fee.. Easy money! I wonder how many would fail having been knocking on doors for other surveys I know they are not perfect.

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