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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

‘Bonkers’: More than 3,500 licensing applications rejected by council

More than three months on from the introduction of a selective licensing scheme in Nottingham, thousands of landlords remain unlicensed because their applications were rejected by Nottingham City Council for not being correctly or fully completed.

Nottingham City Council, like many local authorities across the country, insists that selective licensing schemes are important in order to improve the standard of rented accommodation and crack down on rogue landlords

However, angry landlords have slammed the council for being unprepared for what many consider to be a controversial scheme, referred to as “bonkers”, and claiming council workers were “sinking in paperwork” due to the complexity of the initiative and the high volume of applications received from landlords.

Others believes that with the council charging a standard licensing fee of up to £780 per property in the affected, helping to generate up to £23m for Nottingham City Council, landlords are simply being used as cash cows.

“It [the licensing scheme] is just a way of making money for the council”, said Mike Siebert, chair of Nottingham Park Residents Association.

Around 32,000 properties need a licence but the local authority claims that it has only received applications for 13,450 since the scheme went live at the beginning of August.

The council has so far processed 5,993 of those applications, but almost 60%, or 3,536, have been rejected due to paperwork errors.

To obtain a licence, accredited landlords must pay £480 per property while non-accredited pay £780. But some commentators believe that landlords are likely to pass the cost on to tenants in the form of increased rents, doing nothing to address affordability, while the worst landlords – the rogue operators – will simply ignore the scheme, as they do many other regulations.

Siebert added: “It backfires if rents go up. It is more expensive to rent than get a mortgage so it will be worse for them. If everyone puts up the price of rent what is it achieving?”

Designated areas in Nottingham for the new licensing scheme include Arboretum, Bestwood, Bulwell, Bulwell Forest, Basford, Berridge, Bridge, Clifton North, Clifton South, Dales, Dunkirk and Lenton, Leen Valley, Mapperley, Radford and Park, Sherwood, St Ann’s, Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey.

Giles Inman, business development manager at East Midlands Property Owners Group based in Lenton, which represents around 600 landlords, told Nottinghamshire Live: “The reality is they are sinking in paperwork. They have employed about 70 staff overall to run this licensing scheme.

“We are now over three months into this scheme and they have only a third of the applications in and still trawling through that third. There have been a lot of rejections and a lot of people phoning me up. Everyone is fed up with the whole thing.”

  • John Cart

    So 5993 applications processed, 70 staff employed, 60 working days (12 weeks x5 day week). So that's just under 1.5 applications per staff member PER DAY. Typical of the greedy, grasping, money grabbing Local Authorities, too slow to catch cold apart from when their thieving money from Landlords. IT'S A MONEY MAKING SCAM.

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    It’s extortion plain and simple tony soprano would have been proud of these schemes another Tory stealth tax this country makes me ashamed

     
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    £780 per property, how can they justify that ? still £780 per yr per property increased rent, sorry mr tenant.

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    sorry Andrew you got it a bit wrong , you didnt take in to account the landlors profit. lets make it a round £1000 increase sdl

     
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    Employ just 2 extra staff, pay for them out of Civil Penalties imposed only Against those landlords that are breaking the rules.

    Simples.

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    Chris, I'm sure fees can only be for administration not enforcement...there was a recent case about this.

     
  • Andrew Hill

    It's clear the local authorities don't know what they're doing. Each application decline means increased rents as landlords have to pay a second time for the license application fee.

    Of course, Nottingham City know this because we emailed them and informed them this is likely to be the case yet here we are, with Nottingham Council willfully rejecting applications rather than picking up the phone to ask the landlord for the details they missed off the form.

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    That's nothing, when Newham introduced their scheme first time around (they are just starting their second now) they took 11-12 months to get the actual licences out to the landlords.
    Also licences are not pro-rata so if you apply for one four years into the scheme you will get 1/5th at the same cost as 5 years.
    All the same admin costs you know, plus pay for another one the year later.
    Crowdfunding to go after the bad landlrods as far as I can see

    John Cart

    We've just got one renewed by hopeless, money grabbing Newham, they've got it down to a mere EIGHT MONTHS now, you really couldn't make this stuff up about these lazy bastards. As someone else said, Tony Soprano would be proud of these scams.

     
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    At least Tony soprano knows who he is and doesn’t pretend and lie to justify this blatant money making scam

    John Cart

    Very true, they are just liars.

     
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