City councillors in Nottingham have approved a new licensing scheme aimed at improving housing standards in the city’s private rented sector.
Following an extensive 11-week consultation earlier this year, which sought the views of tenants, landlords, letting agents and local people, the council’s executive board opted to approve the revised selective licensing scheme which includes some changes to the original proposal.
The scheme will now be submitted to the secretary of state for approval, a legislative requirement, with the aim of introducing it from April 2018.
The scheme will be self funding, with the cost of almost £21m over the five years, covered by income from licence fees.
The revised proposal for the scheme will now focus on those areas containing a high proportion of private rented sector properties, rather than the original plan to cover the whole of the city, which means that around 3,700 fewer properties in the city are now covered.
The proposed cost of the licence for those landlords who already have accreditation is expected be around £400, while the cost of a licence for non-accredited landlords is now proposed to be £655.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, the city council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, said: “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.”