Buy-to-let landlords will need to pay £1,200 for a licence to rent their properties in Bristol as part of the local council’s plan to improve living standards for private tenants.
Bristol City Council has decided to charge the extortionately high fee after finding some privately rented homes in disrepair or unsafe.
One in five of the properties surveyed had hazards that were an immediate risk to the health or safety of tenants, according to an independent survey commissioned by the council.
Cabinet member Paul Smith claims that it would cost the council in the region of £1m a year to inspect about 6,000 privately rented homes in Bristol.
Smith said: “We know from experience that licensing is a good way to deal with issues of poor standards of accommodation and inefficient property management.”
“As the private rented sector continues to grow, it is vital that we continue to take steps to help protect vulnerable tenants and ensure that everyone in the city has access to decent housing,” he added.
The licence, which requires landlords to meet a series of requirements, would last for five years.
Unsurprisingly, local landlords are opposed to the new licensing scheme.
Rob Crawford, chair of the Association of Local Landlords in Wessex, commented: “We are aware there are landlords who are not as good as others and do need some help and education in providing the appropriate standard of accommodation.
“But why should good landlords be charged to address those issues from rogue landlords?”