Nottingham City Council looking to implement a citywide selective licensing

Nottingham City Council looking to implement a citywide selective licensing

13:47 PM, 5th December 2016, About 5 years ago 27

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nottingham ccNottingham City Council (NCC) is looking to implement a citywide selective licensing designation, which proposes to license 35,000 residential properties at a cost of £600 per property.

This designation will include all non-HMO properties in the city. They intend to undertake a 10 week consultation in the near future with the scheme to commence early 2018.

Please see the link to the NCC proposal. Click Here

The Selective Licencing section starts at page 25 with the designation details from page 151 onwards.



by Mick Roberts

12:32 PM, 7th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Hodge" at "06/12/2016 - 20:11":

Ha ha yes, an expense we can deduct, FOR NOW ANYWAY.

They gonna' be making us give half our rent away next.

by Dr Rosalind Beck

9:14 AM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

They write their own cheques on this. They could set the figure at any rate they like and we are pretty powerless. I said my piece at a local meeting in Cardiff when they introduced this but it didn't help because they are a law unto themselves. What I am hoping is that in the future there might be the equivalent of a 'mis-selling' argument, a legal argument proving that they had no right to do this and we can then get all the money back! With interest.

Of course it doesn't stop at the £600 per property. They then like to justify the fee by pointing out loads of expensive things you can do, most of which are unnecessary. They stopped us renting out a second floor room in a lovely house that has been rented as a 4 bed for 18 years. We had to tell the tenants who were about to move in that they couldn't and hastily get a group of 3 for the academic year. Luckily, as rents are on the rise - mostly spurred on I believe by the exorbitant rents charged by institutions which are raising massively the ceiling on student rents, we are now able to nearly get back to the 4-bed rate with 3 tenants.

by Dylan Morris

9:42 AM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

What they are doing to the PRS is insane. If you made it up, nobody would believe you !

by David Hagerty

12:44 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

They've just this in Peterborough too. £600 per property if you ask for a license or £900 if they tell you you need one! However, a way out - sort off - is to become an accredited landlord, then they only charge £50 per property. I'm not sure if it will be the case in Nottingham if it happens, but well worth checking out.

You can become accredited for free via on online course with the NLA. Takes a few hours. Oh, of course you have to join for a fee!

by Abdul Khan

12:51 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Can we as landlords collectively appeal? Whats to stop this getting out of control? This will spread across the country? What is the benefit for the landlord? Is there an appeals process for Nottingham? Help!

by Dr Rosalind Beck

15:44 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

In Cardiff there was no discount for being accredited; each council can do what it wants. It is a licence to print money.

by David Lovegrove

16:19 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck" at "10/12/2016 - 15:44":

Much more of a problem for many than section 24 I would suggest.

by Grumpy Doug

17:32 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Lovegrove" at "10/12/2016 - 16:19":

I agree David. Not enough noise being made about the minimum room sizes in HMOs that licencing will mandate. I moved a load of walls a number of years ago to create comfortable sized single bedrooms (I have student houses). Always rented out, significantly cheaper than my double rooms and about half the cost of the "corporate" student accommodation that the first year students have to put up with. They are all below the 6.52 sq metres that licencing will enforce so at a stroke I'm likely to lose about 18% of my rooms. That's the equivalent of another 2 large houses that will be required to accommodate the tenants that I will be evicting ... and I'm only a small landlord. Replicated across the town, guess what .... even more pressure on the (shrinking) PRS !! I asked the question at a recent landlord meeting and based on the feedback there will be 100's of extra houses needed in 2017/18 just to take the evictions from small HMO rooms ... and they don't exist. That's just based on min room sizes - all the rest of the licencing red tape will take its toll as well.

Like Ros, my rents are about 2/3 of the cost, or less, of the corporate boys so I've got quite a lot of rent-rise headroom. Not what I want to do in reality as it doesn't leave me a penny better off. I've explained to all my tenants and they have the details of the local MP together with an email template for them to vent their anger

by David Lovegrove

20:36 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Grumpy Doug" at "10/12/2016 - 17:32":

I don't have any HMOs personally Doug and maybe there is a need for these premises to be licensed .
However we now have a situation where all buy to let's may one day require a licence and that is not just money making but also a cost that neither landlord or tenant can practically absorb.
With a potention exodus of landlords due to increasing legislation this could easily result in properties dropping in market value giving us not only a revenue loss but a capital one also.
We seen to have a national campaign against section 24 but little against (what was ) selective licensing but now becoming more widespread.

by Tim Wragby

23:13 PM, 10th December 2016, About 5 years ago

Boston Borough Council proposed a similar scheme for Boston in 2013-14 but following a concerted & successful campaign they changed their minds and took a very different, but successful, route to sort out rogue landlords.
If you speak to counsellors they see this as a scheme as the magic solution to their problems, but they do not really understand what they are proposing. A council can only use the money raised from a license scheme to pay for the administration of that scheme. They are ring fenced funds and cannot be used for anything else and local landlords need to use FOI requests to ensure that the funds are used correctly. The money cannot be used for enforcement or enforcement agencies so they can have all the requirements to reuiquire landlords to pay up and buy a license but, as other councils have found, they run out of funding to pay for staff to go out and find unlicensed landlords or the money to take them to court - which is why there are pitiful levels of prosecution.
Only the good, law abiding landlords sign up & pay up - the bad landlords stay below the radar, avoid the limelight as they have been bad landlords to date and are not going to change. They know there is a low risk of being found because of the limited enforcement facilities.
There are few if any real success stories for other area-wide schemes and most start in chaos as councils are predominantly under-resourced as they do not have the funds up front to pay for staff and resources. They prove they are unable to identify landlords, unable to get the message out to all landlords and then find they are unable to fund effective and widespread enforcement or take up.
It is also worth pointing out to the councils that they are on shaky grounds for implementing as, from what I observe as an outsider, there is not a problem with low housing demand and not widespread and endemic anti-social behaviour in Nottingham which are the two grounds for issuing a license scheme.
Check out this House of Commons Briefing Paper

which is an excellent resource and the DCLG Guidance to Councils

is also worth reading and getting to grips with - Section 4 gives clear scenarios of what constitutes rationale for licencing and could give Nottingham landlords plenty of ammunition to take to the council and get explanations as to why they are pursuing this course.

Get yourselves fully briefed on what the law says and take very proactive engagement with the consultation process and also get to as many counsellors as possible who can be persuaded to listen. We got to speak to the cabinet meeting in Boston Council and won the day. We also gave back to the council by actively engaging in shopping bad landlords to the Rogue Landlord hotline.
Good luck

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