RLA: Nottingham landlord licensing scheme “farcical”

Ryan Fowler

November 18, 2019

Nottingham’s landlord licensing scheme has been branded a “farce” with the city only having managed to issue full licences to fewer than 3% of the applications it has received.

Back in August 2018, Nottingham City Council introduced a Selective Licensing Scheme across many parts of the city as part of its efforts to address the quality and management of private rented housing.

However figures provided to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee show that by August 2019, despite 17,523 applications for a licence having been received, just 472 final licences had been issued.

The Council estimates that a total of 24,000 applications are eventually likely to be received.

This has led the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to brand the process a farce and call on the Council to scrap the scheme.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, 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. ”

As part of the General Election campaign the RLA is calling for all forms of landlord licensing schemes to be scrapped.

Instead, it is calling for councils to use the wide array of data they can already access such as from council tax returns, benefit and electoral roll data and information from the Land Registry to identify landlords.

It is further calling on councils such as Nottingham to spend more time and resources finding and rooting out criminal landlords rather than wasting resources tying landlords up in bureaucratic knots.

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