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Nottingham licensing scheme to tackle rogue landlords

Katie Coyne22/02/2018 - 10:35

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90 per cent of Nottingham will be covered by selective licensing
90 per cent of Nottingham will be covered by selective licensing

A licensing scheme to boost standards of privately rented property has been given the go-ahead in Nottingham.

The selective licensing scheme will cover 31,000 properties, which is around 90 per cent of privately rented houses and flats across the city.

A report into the quality of the Nottingham’s privately rented accommodation found that more than a fifth had serious issues such as exposed wiring.

It is thought that the new licensing scheme, to be introduced this summer, is the largest of its kind outside of London.

Tenants will be able to check the quality of a landlord’s properties, which it is hoped will also help drive up standards.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, the City Council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing &

heritage, said: ‘This is a major step forward in improving living standards for many city residents.’

She added: ‘In areas that are covered it will help to improve standards for private tenants and landlords will know exactly what they must do to be able to rent their properties out.

‘Having a Selective License will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide good accommodation for tenants.’

The Nottingham scheme will require that all landlords affected apply for a licence per property, which is likely to cost £3 a week.

The price will then drop to £2 a week for landlords who meet the city’s housing standards and gain accreditation.

Tenants will also be able to check both licensing and accreditation. And money raised will help cover the cost of the scheme.

Across London similar schemes have already been introduced in: Brent, Croydon, Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith & Fulham, Waltham Forest, and Harrow, Newham, Ealing, Southwark, and Redbridge. 

Accreditation can be gained by meeting the standards, which will be administered by Unipol, for landlords renting to students, or Dash Services, for landlords not renting to students.

The report into the standard of Nottingham’s private rented properties was carried out by the Building Research Establishment.

The BRE estimated that 21 per cent were likely to have Category 1 hazards. As well as exposed wiring and dangerous boilers, it also includes things like cold bedrooms, a leaking roof, mould on walls or ceilings, and vermin infestation.

Nottingham City Council has provided a link for landlords to check if their property is covered by the scheme at: geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/

They also have made further information available at: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/nottinghamstandard 

Nottingham also announced the news on social media, where Ms Urquhart said: ‘The secretary of state has given Nottingham permission to implement a scheme which is called selective licensing – that’s about issuing licenses to landlords to show that the properties that they are renting to people are of a fit and decent standard.

‘So it’s a scheme that we’ve wanted to implement, because we know it’s really important to have decent quality homes for all our citizens. We had to ask the Government whether they would approve it. They have now approved it so we will be working over the next few months to get towards implementation, which we think will be in the summer of this year 2018.

‘We will do a lot of work of the next few months to make sure that landlords know what’s required of them, the standards that are expected, and the requirements that will be on them to have a licence for their properties.

‘And also to work hard to make sure people who rent in Nottingham know what they can expect from the licensing scheme and how it’s going to improve quality of life for those thousands and thousands of people who privately rent properties in our city.’

 

 

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