Private landlords in Nottingham may soon have to obtain a licence after plans to introduce a selective licensing scheme were given the go-ahead yesterday by the council.
The council’s executive board voted unanimously to approve proposals for the scheme, after initial plans were revised following consultation with landlords and tenants.
The council believe that the approved plans will help improve housing standards in the city’s private rented sector, and have now referred the matter to central government for final approval. If the licence scheme gets the go-ahead it would be introduced in April 2018.
When the scheme was initially announced in February, the council said it was being proposed to raise standards, reduce anti-social behaviour, and tackle rogue landlords across the city.
But after the consultation, the proposals no longer cover the entire city, instead focusing on areas containing a high proportion of private rented sector properties, which means that it covers around 3,700 fewer homes than it had previously set out to do.
The council is also trying to encourage more landlords to join an independent accreditation organisation, such as Residential Landlords Association or the National Landlords Association, by reducing the cost of the scheme for landlords who already have accreditation, from £460 down to £400.
The cost of a licence for non-accredited landlords is now proposed to be £655 over the five-year period of the scheme.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, the city council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, commented: “The introduction of a licensing scheme for private landlords was a key commitment made in our Council Plan. The majority of private tenants who responded to the consultation were in favour of a scheme.
“We have listened carefully to the issues raised in the consultation and made changes to the proposed scheme without losing focus on the improvements it sets to achieve in the overall standard of private rented housing in the city.
“Reducing the cost of the licence for landlords who have accreditation creates even more of an incentive for landlords to obtain it to demonstrate that they meet the required standards so we would encourage them to make an application now via DASH or Unipol.”