A north of England council says it’s reviewing the fees for its selective licensing scheme “in terms of potential impact on income, administration costs and discouraging landlords from applying on time.”
A BBC report says landlords in Middlesbrough have criticised the council’s five year £820 licensing fee which is being imposed in full on new landlords now, even though the scheme ends in just a few months’ time.
The licence applies in the town's Newport area: but landlords say the fee is not being pro-rated for the remaining months of the scheme, leading to some homes not being let.
One landlord has told the BBC: "People are so fed up. Everyone's going mad about it. Houses will sit empty until June because landlords won't pay £800 for a six-month licence. People [are not buying] houses in Newport at the moment because there's no point. People aren't renting them out."
Another said: What happens when we get to January, February, March? Are you really going to pay £800 for a licence for two months? It's going to be more than the rent”. they said.
A council spokesperson is quoted as saying: "The licence fees are calculated on the staffing resource required to deliver the scheme - the council does not make a profit and there is no cost to the council taxpayers. "We are reviewing this policy in terms of potential impact on income, administration costs and discouraging landlords from applying on time.”
They added that the council has now begun offering a 50 per cent discount for the last six months of the scheme, although some landlords said this was "too little, too late".
Here's the full BBC story.
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