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Landlords taking legal action against ‘eye watering’ council licensing

Four landlords are contemplating seeking a judicial review of a council’s proposed licensing scheme extension.

Middlesbrough council is consulting on extending its existing scheme to another ward. The Selective Landlord Licensing scheme has been running for a number of years in North Ormesby and Newport ward and in the council’s own words - “has led to great improvements to the areas.” So it now wants to introduce a further scheme in Newport ward.

A £998 five year fee is suggested in the consultation and one landlord has told the Yorkshire Post that the charge is ‘eye watering’ and says he and three other landlords are considering legal action.


The landlords are not named but one tells the paper: “We are going to try and stop it but if we aren’t granted permission for that challenge we are going to look at using legal loopholes to avoid paying it.

“They are starting off again six months before the current scheme even ends and putting up the fees astronomically. They do not seem to have listened to the complaints made about pricing, still wanting a large upfront fee with small reduction in year five.”

Another is quoted as saying: “It’s time now to say enough is enough and either stop or boycott the scheme.”

The council claims the fee is calculated on the cost of organising and enforcing the scheme and applications for a licence in the last 12 months of the scheme would be eligible for a reduced fee.

The council also claims that the existing, smaller scheme has led to improved property standards and a drop in anti-social behaviour. 

A spokesperson adds that the scheme “rewards” good landlords “because if they are on the list, obviously the housing is up to scratch. It stops the bad landlords who are just there to make money and don’t care about the community, don’t care about the area.”

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    Well Rent Smart Wales can do it for £36 for 5 years for all of a landlords properties.

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    We all know what these schemes are for 💵💵💵 given the number of councils going bankrupt, I can see more of this nonsense spreading 🆘

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    • A JR
    • 08 January 2024 12:48 PM

    Where is the NRLA? What’s their excuse for not helping with this challenge?


    You mean the Now Really Landlord Alienated?


    They probably support it like the one in Gt Yarmouth.

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    Landlords need to form a new active and legal entity to challenge both local and central government. Licences are just the start, other ad hoc costs will no doubt creep in under the banner of ‘good landlord, bad landlord’. Without a union of landlords we are done for.

    With three million landlords we have power.

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    Very good action and we should approach this in all boroughs. Landlord had invested in the properties for profit but these days become very difficult to earn profit.


    Profit is such a dirty word just ask Mr Turner


    That guy expects us to save a deposit mortgage and conveyancing costs completely refurb the property and rent it at below cost and put up with complaints with in future the only way to end the contract is by moving in or selling the property. Where do I sign up?

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    Is this another scheme that the NRLA supports like the one at Gt Yarmouth?

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    Robin. You are so right our landlord Association seems to be in cahoots with the Regulators so no one fighting our corner.

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    Let out as bed and breakfast accommodation like they did back in the 70s and early 80s
    Provide a box of cornflakes each week and your covered

    Just Mogler

    As a B&B I feel sure the council will be checking on environmental status and require registration as a guest house... can't believe that wont happen


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