CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED NEW LICENSING SCHEME TO IMPROVE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR HOUSING

A new licensing scheme for landlords is being proposed by Nottingham City Council to improve standards in the private rented housing sector.

The scheme was approved in principle by the Executive Board on the 22 November 2016 and consultation will take place with tenants, residents, landlords and other interested parties from 16 January 2017 to 31 March 2017.

The Council is concerned about poor standards in the city’s private rented sector having received over 4,500 complaints in the last four years about problems ranging from dangerous electrical wiring; cockroach infestations and lack of windows to smoke alarms not working and lack of safe escape.

The report to the Council’s Executive Board on 22 November also highlighted that poorly managed and maintained properties in areas with a high proportion of private rented housing are contributing to higher levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in those neighbourhoods.

The report recommends approval in principle for a ‘Selective Licensing’ scheme which would require private landlords to obtain a licence demonstrating that they and their properties met required standards. The proposed standard licence fee is £600 per property with a discount of £140 for accredited landlords. Whilst the fee may change prior to any submission being made to the Secretary of State to approve the scheme it is felt unlikely at this stage that that it would be higher than that indicated, and  any changes in the fee are likely to be no more than 20% of fee proposed.

The majority of privately rented properties would be covered by the scheme. Revenue from the licenses could only be used by the Council to cover the cost of administering the scheme.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said: “Alongside building new houses and taking tough enforcement action against rogue landlords, we believe introducing a new licensing scheme for landlords is one of the most important measures we can take to improve the quality of housing in the city, which is why we made it a key objective in the Council Plan published last year.”

Depending on the outcome of the consultation and the required consideration by the Secretary of State, a scheme could be introduced from Spring 2018.

You can have your say on the consultation by completing a simple online questionnaire                              

Alternatively you can contact the Council in any of the following ways to request a printed copy of the questionnaire. You won’t need a stamp to reply Selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk by phone on 0115 876 2312.

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Further information, including a map of the proposed designation and FAQs can be obtained by logging on to:

http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/housing/private-sector-housing/selective-licensing/