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Licensing Scheme Dubbed a Farce

Posted by Richard Ward in

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Last year, Nottingham council decided to extend the existing licensing regime to cover 90% of the city's private rental properties, adding an estimated 32,000 homes to the scheme. This made it the largest of its kind outside of London.

However, it is understood the council has so far managed to issue full licences to fewer than 3% of the applications received, prompting ridicule from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The scheme faced immediate backlash because thousands of applications by landlords were rejected because of paperwork errors and earlier this year, months after its introduction, the council admitted around 17,000 properties remained unlicensed.

The RLA says that by August of this year, although more than 17,500 applications were submitted, just 472 final licences had been issued.

The RLA also pointed out that because the issuing of a licence is not linked to any form of property inspection, tenants cannot be sure the property meets all the required standards.

Commenting on the scheme, RLA policy director David Smith said: "Nottingham Council cannot have it both ways. Either it believes landlord licences are important, in which case they should process applications promptly, or they do not, in which case they should scrap what amounts to a money making scheme."

"The reality is that the council is targeting responsible landlords whilst doing nothing to find and root out bad landlords who will have no intention of applying for a licence. This is purely a money making bureaucratic exercise which will not benefit tenants in any way."