Buy-to-let landlords with rental properties in Peterborough will now have to pay £600 for a five-year licence to rent out a property in Peterborough after a discounted scheme was abolished.
Landlords who are members of a nationally accredited landlord association were previously permitted to pay £50 per property for a five-year licence. But Peterborough City Council has now decided to scrap this offer, which means that all landlords will now have to pay the standard £600 fee for a licence to rent out new properties, which equates to a 1,100% increase for somebody who is say a member of the National Landlords Association or Residential Landlords Association.
There are some concerns that the fee hike could lead to an increase in rents, but the local authority is confident that forcing new landlords to pay more money will not increase rents.
Rob Hill, assistant director for communities and safety, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Over the past 12 months we have not seen a difference in rental levels between landlords who have paid either the £50 or £600 fee.
“In addition, the licence fee is tax deductible and therefore we expect little impact on rental levels.”
The introduction last year of selective licensing, forcing landlords in nine wards - Central, North, East, Park, Fletton, Bretton North, Stanground Central, Walton and Orton Longueville - to sign up for a licence, was designed to force landlords to meet certain safety standards.
The scheme has had an immediate effect, with more than 900 gas safety certificates issued in the month before the selective licensing deadline, while several landlords have also been successfully prosecuted for not holding a licence.
But the decision to scrap the discounted incentive is clearly unwelcome news for many landlords.
Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association, said: “The NLA was not aware the council had made this decision, or was considering doing so, and we’re naturally disappointed because we pushed very hard to make sure that accredited landlords, who are already doing the right thing, should benefit from a discount.”