More than 80 buy-to-let landlords in Weston-super-Mare have joined forces with a view to taking North Somerset Council to court in a bid to overturn a decision to introduce a licensing scheme across parts of the town.
The landlords attended Somerset Property Network’s first meeting last week to discuss North Somerset Council’s proposed landlord licensing scheme.
The event, which took place at the Royal Hotel, in South Parade in Weston, discussed the introduction of a new license scheme designed to improve ‘poor quality rented housing’ in Weston-super-Mare, which was slammed last month for being ‘short-sighted’ and nothing short of yet another ‘money-making exercise’ at landlords’ expense.
The recently formed Somerset Property Network strongly opposes the planned new license which will cover Central ward and part of Hillside, and cost £320 for a five-year license. The group now believes that a legal challenge is necessary to stop the initiative being introduced. For further information - click here.
A spokesman for the network said: “Everyone agreed they didn’t want to sit back and take this decision by North Somerset Council.
“We have all agreed to put money into a pot to take this judicial review forward.”
However, Cllr Ap Rees has defended the licence which will carry a minimum standard criteria and anyone not meeting the benchmark could be prosecuted.
Rees said last month: “We are determined to root out rogue landlords in this area of Weston and we need to be in a position to inspect all rental properties within the selected area.
“To do that, we have to cover the costs. The basic charge is the cost of the license and the compliance visit.
“We accept that sometimes it isn’t the landlords, it may be the tenants that cause the damage but the only way to monitor that is to visit the property.
“Conscientious landlords have nothing to fear.”