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Council slammed for ‘doing nothing to find and root out bad landlords’

Nottingham City Council has been criticised for targeting responsible landlords whilst doing little to clampdown on rogue operators in the local PRS. 

The council’s private rental licensing scheme has been branded a ‘farce’ by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) after new figures revealed that just 2.7% of all applications for a license had been approved in a year. 

Fresh data provided to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee show that of the 17,523 applications for a licence received between August 2018 and August 2019, just 472 final licences had been issued.


The council estimates a total of 24,000 applications are eventually likely to have been received since the introduction of a Selective Licensing Scheme across many parts of the city in August last year. 

The RLA is now  calling on the council to scrap what it sees as a ‘pointless’ scheme, as part of its effort to see all licensing initiatives scrapped. 

The RLA has compiled a manifesto that it hopes all political parties will take note of ahead of the general election, setting out key priorities for the industry. 

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Nottingham Council cannot have it both ways. Either it believes landlord licences are important, in which case they should process applications promptly, or they do not, in which case they should scrap what amounts to a money making scheme.

“The reality is that the council is targeting responsible landlords whilst doing nothing to find and root out bad landlords who will have no intention of applying for a licence. This is purely a money making bureaucratic exercise which will not benefit tenants in any way. ”


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Poll: Should landlord licensing schemes be scrapped?


  • icon

    In my Borough in London with licences in place for the last 5 years, they have done nothing and in 2018, just one prosecution. A licence to print money is all it is.

    John Cart

    100% correct, another public sector scam to rake in the cash, provide nothing by way of service, do nothing to get rid of the bad landlords who won't be applying for licences anyway. Its just more cash to top up their already ridiculously generous pensions, you know, the ones that no body else can afford to have because you have to thieve money from Council Tax payers to be able to pay them.

  • icon
    • 20 November 2019 14:17 PM

    It should be quite simple.
    ONE National LL Licensing scheme administered by Councils.
    £50 per property every 5 years.
    No LL to be able to trade unless they have a licence no as the LL and for the property.
    Any LL caught letting a property without a licence no for the property or themselves to be prosecuted if they DON'T apply for licences within 1 month.
    The fines to be up to £30000.
    That should concentrate the minds of all the illegal LL.
    That includes those letting to HB tenants where the BTL mortgage product specifically prohibits letting to HB tenants which could be just £1 of HB.
    With an effective scheme as I have suggested there would be mass homelessness and LL bankruptcies.
    It is simply not in Govt's best interests to detect all the illegal LL.
    So there will be no effective cheap LL Licensing scheme.

  • Andrew McCausland

    I don't want to be contrary but in my area of Wirral the scheme seems to be working reasonably well. My major complaint (apart from the cost) is that they do seem to targeting the low handing fruit - the compliant LL's who try and play by the book, whilst not pursuing the non-registered LL hard enough.

    There have been a number of interventions against LL but most seem to be for repairs, often over very minor things like scratches on worktops (a hazard under HHSRS apparently, and worthy of the Councils time to go after LL for), rather than chasing the seriously dodgy guys with death trap houses.

    I support the idea of licensing but would want to see the focus fully on the rotten end of the sector, the ones that give all LL a bad name. Too much time spent chasing decent LL over minor issues does no-one any good.


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