LANDLORDS TAKING NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL TO COURT OVER NEW LICENCE
Landlords are planning to take Nottingham City Council to court over a controversial licensing scheme.
East Midlands Property Owners' Association is to formally tell the council of its intention to take the authority to a judicial review over its new licensing legislation.
The scheme, set to come into force on January 1, will mean an increase in the number of areas where landlords have to pay for a licence for a property to be turned into a "house of multiple occupation" (HMO), or shared house.
It is hoped the move will better regulate landlords and control the number of shared houses in the city.
But the association is opposing the plan, claiming it will penalise law-abiding landlords.
Giles Inman, the association's business development officer, said: "The attitude among the landlords is that we are fed up and frustrated that this entire scheme has been rolled out with very little consultation with landlords.
"Clearly, we work at the coal face and we want the rogue landlords to be taken out and shut down because it gives the whole sector a bad reputation
"But we feel additional licensing will mean good landlords will be facing extra expense to meet things they are already meeting through other accreditation."
The city council approved the licensing plan last month following a heated debate in which landlords voiced their concerns.
Throughout the discussion of the plans, members of the public heckled, shouting "you have let down the Asian community" and "you will never get elected in this city again".
But the scheme was approved and will come into force on January 1 and run for five years.
Landlords will have to pay a one-off fee of £910 for the five years, reduced by £115 for landlords already accredited to existing approved schemes.
The plans will affect around 3,200 houses of multiple occupation in parts of the city, including Lenton, Radford, Arboretum, Hyson Green and Sneinton.
The association represents about 500 landlords with approximately 15,000 properties across the East Midlands.
Mr Inman, himself a Nottingham-based landlord, said: "We have one landlord that has 70 houses and the majority of these will be impacted upon by the additional licensing.
"This landlord is already accredited and already subscribes to the legislation required of him.
"From his point of view, there is very little this additional licensing is going to offer him other than a huge bill."
A city council spokesman said: "Approval by our executive board last month means that, from next January, around 3,200 HMOs will be brought into the licensing scheme in some parts of the city where a significant proportion of HMOs have been identified as being poorly managed to the detriment of tenants or the public.
"The scheme will allow us to take a much more proactive approach to ensuring that HMOs in Nottingham are of an acceptable standard.
"A consultation on the proposals showed that 65 per cent of the online contributions and half of the written submissions supported the scheme."
[Nottingham Post, Wednesday, 16 October 2013]
SOME NOTTINGHAM POST WEBSITE COMMENTS
... "Clearly, we work at the coal face and we want the rogue landlords to be taken out and shut down because it gives the whole sector a bad reputation" Hardly working at the coal face. Its easy to take a nice family house and split it into little boxes to let to students for £100 a week. Another part of the local community dies and the agents shield the owners who live miles away
... "The city council approved the licensing plan last month following a heated debate in which landlords voiced their concerns. Throughout the discussion of the plans, members of the public heckled, shouting "you have let down the Asian community" and "you will never get elected in this city again". This sounds like an empty threat to me. Although postal voting fraud is commonplace in our inner cities, the City Council cheerleaders on this forum are convinced that it doesn't happen in Nottingham so they've nothing to worry about. I'd be interested to know what services the City Council will be providing for £910, rather than the landlords using the money to maintain their properties
... I'm in favour of the licence: I'm in favour of anything which might work against the blight of HMO's which have so reduced the quality of Nottingham's inner neighbourhoods over the past 10 or 15 or however many ugly years it's been. and perhaps the price should be doubled or trebled - so that, as well as covering the cost of the scheme, there will be money left over to clean up the mess that these people and their tenants make.
... there are hundreds of city living student flats unlet with lots more being built , we need more hoops like this in the hope that private landlords throw in the towel and city council can have all the spoils of war, at least that is what it looks like to me. if its not the case then why not charge all landlords £100 per year for each student they accommodate (with a 50% reduction if they pay within 2 weeks) ? we could call it the Iceland benevolent fund
... The landlords, whether "good" or "bad" are operating businesses with some of the resulting costs being picked up in everyone else's council tax. Whether it's the need for inspection or dealing with the disposal costs from last year's fly-tipped furniture and mattresses, I don't see why residents should be expected to support what is really part of that business's running costs. If landlords are really unable to bear the cost of what equates to a two or three pounds a week per property charge, then their financial investment must be giving them an extremely poor rate of return and perhaps they should look elsewhere. I'm sure that they can run another type of business where the locals are keen to pick up their running costs for them, seems perfectly reasonable to me ...
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