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Landlord slams council “money raising” licensing red tape

A landlord leader has hit out at a council’s selective licensing scheme, suggesting it is “bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake” and nothing more than a money-making exercise.

South Tyneside council is introducing the scheme into two designated zones in South Shields, claiming it will drive up housing standards.

Landlords will have to operate with a licence awarded by the council, which demands a fee of around £550 per property for a five-year period.


But Colin Campbell, chair of the local landlords’ association, has told The Shields Gazette and the council itself that it is nothing more than a “money-making exercise.” 

He says legislation already exists to drive up housing standards and that landlords penalised by the scheme are those who already abide by the rules and pay to register. 

Campbell also claims rogue landlords would not identify themselves as letting properties, thereby dodging the fees and undermining the scheme.

“Selective licensing is bringing good landlords down for no reason, it’s bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake” he tells the paper.

A council spokesman says: “The private rented sector plays an important role in South Tyneside’s housing market, but some areas present challenges where properties have been subject to neglect, leading to increased anti-social behaviour, general area decline and a high turnover of tenancies.

“The introduction of selective licensing in these areas provides the council with an opportunity to drive up standards and reduce turnover in some of the worst privately-rented accommodation.

“It will enable the council to engage with and provide additional focused support to landlords and tenants within those areas and work towards a more desirable and sustainable housing environment.

“The scheme will be self-financing and non-profit-making over the five-year-period, with the fees covering the cost of the additional resources required to make the desired improvements to the area.

“Officers will be proactive in identifying tenanted accommodation and engaging with landlords to pursue payment throughout the period of the scheme.

“Any income generated will be used for the running of the scheme or improvements in the licensed areas.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    Most landlords are money grabbing, and landlords ultimately need someone to answer too. Its a good scheme. Landlords are well known for discrimination, so if they cant be fair across the board and have decent standards, they can't be a landlord. Thats extremely fair. £550 for 5 years is quite good, although maybe £120 per year with a check on the property before renewal.


    Typical knee jerk reaction Andrew. Surveys show most tenants/landlords get on just fine. We only really get to hear about the bad experiences. Licensing here just cranked up rents further (trust me, it's not just the licence fee, the council pen pushers will always find stuff for the landlords to do) - ultimately the customer (tenant) always pays the costs ... ECONOMICS 101. Councils already have powers to root out bad landlords, but I'm afraid that licensing is just an easy revenue stream that is paid by the good ones. They all use the same mealy mouthed comments about improved standards blah blah. 3 years in here? No improvements but a load more pen pushers ultimately pushing up rents and costing the local taxpayers big time in the future (pensions etc)


    So what do you do for a living Mr Williamson ? or do you just sponge off the tax payer ?

  • Bill Wood

    “It will enable the council to engage with and provide additional focused support to landlords and tenants within those {worst} areas "
    So what will the Council do exactly to support landlords? Employ someone to repair leaks and fix windows? Or employ someone to tell landlords to repair leaks and fix windows?


    Excellent point - but would you really want a Council employee fixing anything in your property? Give me a self employed sole trader every time!

  • icon

    The two Andrews (above): no need for insults, both of you. Make your cases calmly, politely and rationally, please, whatever views you hold. Oh dear, not the nicest start to the New Year! New Year resolution, everyone? - how about: clean up social media like LT.


    My word. It must be a new year. I am agreeing with you David.


    Andrew W was making unsubstantiated insults on landlords in general. Andrew T was asking a valid question. No comparison.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The only thing it will drive up, is RENT.
    As for Standards, those that will pay the license are already maintaining standards.

  • icon

    We had selective licensing introduced in Nottingham 2.5 years ago. Result - about half of the number of LLs expected applied and rents went up!

    So....no rogue LLs caught and Nottingham on the list of fastest rising rents in the country. My tenants gained absolutely nothing - except a rent increase!

  • icon

    OK Mr Williamson you think we should have all those Schemes Let the Council pay for the administration / Licensing and ultimately you the tax payer of which I hope you are one and don't mind paying a bit extra seen as you don't consider £550..00 very much or come to L'don its £1300.00 + any second visit by Council is £85 per hour, so if you want yearly visits your suggested £120.00 pa will not go very far but that's ok you will be happy to pay not ?. Anyone who thinks it only a matter of paying a license fee is in cloud cuckoo land, there is attached many thousands of £'s material costs & physical work in compliance shouldered by the LL, that said it only applies to half the Community if by any chance they are related in anyway no matter how vague it doesn't apply to them.
    This is another one just like Section 24 only applies to half of the LL's who own the property in their own names, similar property held in Ltd Company it could be his brother similar Tenants & Rent it doesn't apply at all, discrimination by Law.

  • George Dawes

    It’s to not too

    So much for the educational standards of the younger generation eh ?



    There were several other basic grammatical errors in Andrew W's original post above, usually relating to missing apostrophes, but given the tone of the post I'm not too surprised to find such additional gaps in education.


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