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See You In Court! Landlords threaten legal action over licensing

A landlord group is threatening legal action following a council’s approval of a new licensing scheme.

York council - run by a coalition of Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors - has voted to extend its previous HMO licensing scheme across eight parts of the city, enlarging the number of properties affected from 1,000 to around 3,000.

But the local media in the city report that Andy Simpson - chairman of York Residential Landlords Association - believes there is a “strong case” for a legal challenge, following concerns about whether the local authority was using its existing regulatory powers effectively.


He is quoted as suggesting a voluntary scheme run by a third party, costing less than the £500,000 for the council scheme. 

The York Press reports that Simpson told a meeting of councillors discussing the consultation for the proposals: “These schemes look lucrative for local authorities but no licensing scheme [elsewhere in the country] has been self-funding. So you’re essentially asking York residents to part-fund this scheme through council tax. You can’t make an informed decision on a multi-million pound proposal that is essentially loss making with … a small statistical sample.”

The council report noted that instances of the failure to meet health and safety standards, inadequate room sizes, lack of natural light, failure to provide appropriate kitchens, bathroom or toilet facilities and failure to provide appropriate heating or minimum energy efficiency standards had all been recorded in the city.

And one councillor is reported as saying: “Voluntary schemes have been tried in the past and not worked. Licensing will not only significantly improve conditions for tenants, but will also improve the management of properties and reduce their impact on nearby residents.”

York Residential Landlords Association is non-profit making and was founded in 1994 with the aim of giving help and advice to residential landlords. It currently has some 500 landlord members.

You can see the York Press report here.

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  • icon

    Good luck , will be interesting to see the outcome. These rapacious councils are smelling 🩸 blood and they need bringing back in line, the PRS is not a never ending income stream.

  • icon

    Good to see one landlord association doing something, where are the rest of you, sitting on your hands ?

  • John  Adams

    The council try to justify this on the basis of compliance failures, yet we know from published statistics Private tenants are more content than Council ones, and it would be interesting to see the council repairs backlog...

  • icon

    I recently advertised property and a lot of the applicants were from social housing.


    I have received over 100 enquiries to may latest advert, some seemingly desperate. Each one received an applicatin form; not one form has been returned.

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    When l used open rent for customers l had some very strange people turning up. I took them at face value, but l really wonder about them now, very very odd ! When I think that point about not filling in application forms suggests that they aren't legit. When l probed these potential tenants, things didn't ring true.


    I provide an application form, too, and often don't get it back. You know then that they have a lot to hide.

    I have also started asking the same questions on my application form, as screening questions on the Open Rent website. That helps in avoiding wasted time on viewings.

    I only show the flat to people who meet my criteria.


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