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Landlords in Newcastle fear proposed licensing will ‘push rents up for tenants’

Private landlords in Newcastle have rejected a new licensing policy put forward by Newcastle City Council, which would require them to pay up to £750 per property.

The council argue that the registration scheme would improve accommodation and local neighbourhoods and reduce anti-social behaviour.

However, most landlords fundamentally oppose the plans, stating that it would penalise good landlords and ‘push rents up for tenants’.

The proposed scheme would affect about 19,000 properties in Newcastle, but local landlord, Bruce Haagensen, pointed out that only a small number of landlords were “not doing things correctly”.

He said: “Even if you say 10% are bad that still leaves 17,000 who are good and are being forced to pay money for a licence that really isn't relevant to them and is ultimately going to push rents up for tenants.”

With the council receiving around 1,200 complaints a year concerning private accommodation, Newcastle City Council’s housing team leader Paula Davis is concerned that there are an “awful lot of very vulnerable tenants” in the city.

She commented: “Old people, young people, people who have migrated into the city and maybe don't speak English as a first language - and they just wouldn't know who to complain to.”

Poll: Do any of your existing properties require a license?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Landlords shouldn't be afraid of licensing schemes but the most annoying thing is that councils don't go after the unlicensed rogues, even when they're reported to them. Rents do go up to reflect better properties but why should landlords fear that?

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    Absolutely right, These licensing schemes such as Rent Smart Wales are worthless as far as catching rogue landlords are concerned.
    They are not pro-active in checking that properties are licensed or not, relying on tenants to inform them.
    Even ones that are registered rent properties that are unacceptable and insist on cash payments that are undeclared.
    They realise that the chance of getting caught is minimal so they carry on regardless.
    I ask myself often 'who is the fool here'?

     
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    Parasites. Landlords are just a cash cow for councils now. As stated it’s not necessary for most and the cost is a joke

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    At present none of my properties require a licence, however it's only a matter of time before we will all need licences, i don't have a problem with that, however the cost will ofcourse be passed onto the tenants.

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    You are fortunate that you can pass on the costs to tenants, Andrew.
    We just have to bear the expense and suffer a reduced income.
    One wonders whether this is the price we have to pay for unlicensed rogue landlords, that don't declare their income and therefore can let out property for less.
    They can then easily undercut us and actually make more money by renting out for cash at a reduced rate.

     
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    All any council following this route is doing is causing tenants more grief.
    The more a Landlord has in terms of costs means higher rents.
    FACT! And normal business practice.

    I fail to understand how councils refuse to see that they do exactly the same with their business.

    Ignorance is not an excuse.

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    Licensing 19600 properties in Newcastle and generating over £14M in fees in just not justified for 1200 complaints a year. We all want to see bad landlords caught and punished but it should not be the 90+% of properties belonging to good landlords who finance that.
    Newcastle have failed to explain how they need £14m to carry this out and it is perceived as just being done to help their budget.
    A much better alternative would be to require every Landlord/Agent to be registered and have a licence in the city. The cost of which is £100 if you are personally Accredited and say £500 if you are not. That way it will be the guys who have had no training and are a greater risk who will be financing their clamp down. the end result is all landlords/agents are on the radar and they could generate income by running Accreditation courses and there is a code of practice for any bad landlords to be punished.
    The new legislation where Tenants can sue Landlords for unfit properties takes away the need for Councils to staff inspections and enforcement city wide instead they can help those Tenants who complain to go down that route if appropriate, without taxing the good landlords.
    If you are affected by this then even though the Consultation period has ended take the trouble to write to express your objection to the scheme.

    As it stands they appear to be ignoring the objections to date and intend to proceed regardless!

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    Having spent the best part of two years challenging 2 separate authorities proposed schemes it would be more beneficial to use the consultation period to discuss with tenants and residents the implications of such schemes and ask them to complete the questionnaire . It is their input that may decide if these proposals will be rubber stamped. The views of landlords will be totally disregarded.

     
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    I don't disagree with accreditation provided it can be achieved by passing a written exam and not require or be awarded for attending a mickey mouse, egg sucking, costly course.

     
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    What I have found here in Wales, is that the licensing authority is widening its remit in order to justify its existence.
    They have carried out the initial licensing/registration and are looking for new ways to give genuine landlords grief.
    I recently received a consultation paper from RSW asking if their proposed extension of regulations to cover a whole host of different things relating to a property, was a good idea?
    My reply was, as you can imagine, not that favourable.
    Also, these regulations don't apply to local housing associations etc, who are the worst offenders when it comes to dealing with issues.

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