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Proposed licence is a stealth tax and ‘hard-hit’ landlords ‘have had enough’

Private landlords in Telford have reacted furiously to plans by Telford & Wrekin Council to introduce a Selective Licensing in parts of town in an effort to improve poorly managed private rented properties.

Under the initial plans for the scheme, which the council’s cabinet is being recommended to approve, landlords and letting agents in Hadley and Leegomery, Malinslee and Hollinswood, Brookside and Sutton Hill and Woodside would be required to apply for a five-year licence, costing just over £600.

Landlords would also need to meet a number of conditions under the terms of the scheme to ensure that tenants are provided with safe and well managed homes.


A landlord found guilty of not complying with licence conditions could be fined up to £5,000 per offence. Failure to license the property in the first place could lead to a £20,000 fine.

But the plans to licence a selection of landlords have been described as “badly thought-out” by the Wrekin Landlords Association.

The organisation, which claims that the new license is “nothing but another tax”, has launched a petition to Stop Selective Licensing proposed for Telford

The association claims that it is “the final nail in the coffin” for fed up landlords with some vowing to sell up rather than pay the controversial licence fee, which would add to the supply-demand imbalance in the local market and potentially drive rents up.

Wrekin Landlords Association’s chairman Bernie Lewis said: “The council appears to be blaming private landlords for anti-social behaviour and littering, which is nonsense.

“The council should concentrate on identifying the perpetrators who litter and carry out anti-social behaviour and use the laws that are already here to deal with it.”

“Hard-hit local private residential landlords have had enough. Many are planning to get out of the business. It has all become too much for many small landlords,” he added. 

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    This scheme has been in place in Liverpool for a few years and has begun to weed out rogue landlords. Those who have been taken to court have faced severe fines. Therefore in the long run it can only be a good thing.
    On a side issue, where such a scheme is implemented a landlord cannot serve a notice terminating an assured shorthold tenancy if he has not registered with the Council.

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    These schemes are nonsense and - as the article rightly claims - just another form of tax. The legal system is designed to deal with rogue landlords. It just needs to be applied more stringently.

    Experience tells us that councils cannot even deal adequately with their own housing stock and - that being the case - I fail to see why they feel qualified to police other people's. Just another non-job for yet more penpushers and paid for by hard working landlords.

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