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New licensing scheme set to cost landlords £1,200

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?”

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    Of course honest and reliable landlords suffer because of of poor or rogue landlords. The honest always do at the hands of the feral and crooked. Whether the latter are bankers or burglars ! But Councils are generally profligate, incompetent and sometimes crooked too. Just read any edition of Private Eye for examples of their dishonesty. Landlords should be licenced as are pubs and business premises. £1200 though reflects the gluttony and awfulness of so many Councils. But as only 30% bother to vote in Council elections we get the rabble we get in charge. Our fault sadly.

  • G romit

    How they justify charging £1,200 when other Councils can do the same for 2 or 3 times less?
    Methinks some creative accountancy is going on to attribute other council costs to the licensing cost centre. Either that or they may be 2 or 3 less efficient than other Councils.

  • G romit

    Ultimately, the Tenants will foot the bill as this additional cost gets passed onto to Tenants in higher rents.

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    Irrelevant as to what the business is, increased overheads are always passed onto the end user.

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    Yes, no different to Council Tax increases. Police commissioner pushed up charges by13.5% in our area for example..What ever we get charged more for,interest rates,maintenance,materials, service charges, all get pushed onto rent.

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    This is £240 per year as the editorial states:-
    "The licence, which requires landlords to meet a series of requirements, would last for five years".
    What is the going rate for other council's?

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    Been a private Landlord for over 25 years and this tightening of private landlords has been on the cards. Too many (not all I accept) don't look after their investments properly, have an aggressive attitude towards Tenants and have little idea or even care about legislative changes. We've had it good for a very long time but arrogant and shoddy attitudes will have to change. I have a number of friends who are multi property self managed Landlords who haven,t got a clue about the impending Tenant Fee Ban, new EPC regulations or what a Form 6A is, yet they think they have their fingers on the pulse!
    The government want to drive out poor quality, self managed small Landlords so expect big fines for not towing the line; or get your property managed by a regulated Agent who has the experience and knowledge do the work for you. Yes you will have to pay for it though so take it on the chin,accept it, and do things properly.

    • 04 April 2019 20:06 PM

    Absolutely correct.
    Because my knowledge is poor as I self-manage I do my utmost to keep abreast of all things PRS.

    Because I do this I find I can run rings round your average LA worker who are pretty clueless when it comes to new regulations.
    I accept that as a self-managing LL with ALL the cost savings that result from NOT ever having to use a LA that it is my responsibility to become a PRS anorak.
    If I CAN'T be bothered to keep up with things like your idiot mates then what I would do is use a LA.
    There are many benefits to being a self-managing LL.
    But and it's a big but if as a self-managing LL you choose not to keep abreast of all the PRS info available out there then you should
    NOT be self-managing!!
    Keeping yourself aware of what is going on in the PRS world is simply one of those things you have to do if choosing the self-management route.
    Any who choose not to do this are simply idiots setting themselves up for a very big fall.
    I have no sympathy whatsoever with such LL.
    They deserve all they get thrown at them if they CAN'T be bothered to do the LL self-management job properly.

    Tenants are poorly served by such LL as your mates who think they know it all.
    I like to think I know it all.
    But just in case I DON'T I check everyday what is happening in the PRS world.
    Because I do this I have to be caught out.
    I have been in the past as I accept I was an ignorant LL who left things in the less than capable hands of a LA.
    I learnt through bitter experience that as a LL you need to keep up to speed with all that goes on in the PRS industry.
    If you DON'T eventually you come a cropper!!!
    I actually consider that as a part of a COMPULSORY National LL licensing system that ALL LL should be required to undertake CPD of 40 hrs every 5 years.
    Appreciate that once completed a LL could not say that no more knowledge needs to be gained until 5 years time but few LL would adopt such a negative attitude to keeping up to date with PRS knowledge.
    Tenants have the right to know that their LL knows what they are doing..CPD would largely address this problem.

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    The trouble with these licensing schemes is that they are just that?
    I know of a property near mine that is in a state of almost total disrepair and no doubt unsafe.
    I have checked the licence register and lo and behold, he is registered and licensed.
    He has not done a thing on this property for 30 years and is unlikely to do so unless forced.
    I believe that it is rented out to cash paying tenants who would be unlikely to qualify for one of our properties.
    Also, if he is renting for cash then he is pretty obviously not declaring it to the HMRC.
    Unless there is an inspection regime for every property registered/licenced, then 'it is as much use as a chocolate teapot'.


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