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Council plans 1,100% selective licensing fee hike for some landlords

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.”

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    just another tax on Landlords.If it happens to me,my rents will go up the fee amount each year.
    ie if it is £600 for 5 years my rents will increase £600 per year ! !!! not £600 over 5 years!

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    And that's why the majority of people generally don't care about the plight of landlords.

     
    Brit Miller

    You will get more void periods then. Too high rentsmean tennants go bye bye and move some where cheaper. You give landlords a bad name.

     
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    My rents will increase. If they want us to maintain quality properties then why charge us ridiculous licence fees. Just admit its a tax and stop winding up Landlords with calling it something else. I am still aware that this licence is per property and not just the Landlord. Why is it we don't have to have a licence for every car/van we own? My local council have always banged on about working together but all these changes and taxes are driving a big wedge through us all! I deem myself as a good Landlord and my tenants will tell you that and also I have a waiting list for my properties so why do I have to suffer the new Tax.

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    I wondered what the real reason for this tax is. It is just a back handed way of getting money from central government via creating a tax allowable charge. Landlords are just the piggy in the middle as they say.

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    It is just a tax. Central Government is reducing the money it gives to local councils, and increasing the burdens on them (e.g. Homeless Reduction Act, etc). So Councils are looking at every which way to find extra income to avoid reducing services. I've heard some Council are looking/wanting to charge Landlords business rates - they've learnt that Landlords are an easy target as it is popular amongst the electorate (until they have to pay higher rent) and there is little co-ordinated resistance from Landlords.

    Landlords should advise their Tenants how much their rent will increase due to this and other tax hikes, especially Sec.24; without which it only fuels the publics perception that Landlords are greedy.

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    I think we should all ask our tenants to write to their local councils and say they are worried about rent increases from their Landlords and get them to ask the Councils for their justification on hitting Landlords so hard as its the tenant that gets the increase.!
    In effect why doesn't the Tenant just pay the extra ££££££'s to the Council and cut the Landlord out!

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