Nottingham City Council became the latest local authority to introduce a landlord licensing scheme last week in an attempt to clampdown on rogue landlords, but many landlords claim the initiative is nothing more than a money-making exercise simply designed to boost council coffers.
Nottingham City Council, like many local authorities across the country, insists that selective licensing schemes are important in order to improve the standard of rented accommodation and crack down on rogue landlords.
However, with the council charging a standard licensing fee of up to £780 per property, the new scheme is expected to generate up to £23m for Nottingham City Council, and that is why many people believe that landlords are simply being used as cash cows.
“It [the licensing scheme] is just a way of making money for the council”, said Mike Siebert, chair of Nottingham Park Residents Association.
Another concern is the fact that licensing schemes rarely meet their objectives.
Good landlords will apply for licenses and are likely to pass the cost on to tenants in the form of increased rents, doing nothing to address affordability, while the worst landlords – the rogue operators – will simply ignore the scheme, as they do many other regulations.
Siebert added: “It backfires if rents go up. It is more expensive to rent than get a mortgage so it will be worse for them. If everyone puts up the price of rent what is it achieving?”
Designated areas in Nottingham for the new licensing scheme include Arboretum, Bestwood, Bulwell, Bulwell Forest, Basford, Berridge, Bridge, Clifton North, Clifton South, Dales, Dunkirk and Lenton, Leen Valley, Mapperley, Radford and Park, Sherwood, St Ann’s, Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey.