Landlords slam Gedling Borough Council for going ahead with licensing plan consultation

 Landlords slam Gedling Borough Council for going ahead with licensing plan consultation
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Landlords have accused Gedling Borough Council of being ‘short sighted’ for going ahead with plans to implement a scheme for private rented housing during the coronavirus crisis.

Gedling Borough Council this week announced it has launched a consultation to see if a selective licensing scheme for private landlords is needed in wider areas after a successful trial in Netherfield

The scheme will make it mandatory for landlords to have licences for each of their private rented properties.

It was successfully piloted in Netherfield and the consultation is asking for views to expand it to Colwick, Carlton Hill, Daybrook and Newstead Village.

The licence requires that landlords meet a minimum standard of accommodation for residents. 

But the move has been slammed by EMPO – a not-for-profit Landlords Association that represents the need of Residential Landlords across the East Midlands.

Giles Inman, EMPO’s Business Development Manager, said: “It is disappointing at a time of national crisis that Gedling Borough Council has commenced a 12-week landlord licensing consultation to license family homes in Carlton Hill, Colwick, Daybrook and Newstead Village as from June 2021

“This consultation is contrary to MHCLG guidance which asked local authorities to suspend this kind of activity until the crisis was over. How Gedling Borough Council can practically prepare for and produce such a scheme with their staff out of the office is baffling.

CRITICAL: EPSO’s Giles Inman

Local agent and EMPO member, David James also condemned the move.

He said: “At a time when the private rental sector is seeing massive challenges, it is short-sighted of the council to perceive selective licensing as having a positive impact in any capacity.

“In Netherfield, we have encountered landlords disposing of good quality housing stock over the last 2 years as a direct effect of selective licensing. When the council ran the initial consultation on licensing the Netherfield ward, they stated they had no desire to extend the scheme and they had targeted Netherfield as it met all the deprivation triggers that would lead a local authority to consider a selective licensing scheme.

“We are struggling to see how they can use the same criteria in areas such as Carlton Hill. Furthermore, we still have client money sat in our client’s account in relation to licensing applications submitted in 2018. How can they justify extending this scheme when they haven’t even processed the 600-odd applications from the last two years.”

Another local agent and EMPO member, Woo Properties said “When Gedling first introduced their scheme, we were pleased to see that they concentrated on just one small area of problem. If they expand the area in the current climate, then that makes them no different to Nottingham City Council. i.e. no consideration for landlords providing a much-needed service.

“At a time when we have noticed investors beginning to hold back from putting more money into BTLs, this will be another reason for them not to invest in much needed rented housing in these proposed areas.”

Gedling Borough Council has defended the decision.

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke, said: “We welcome the views of property agents, landlords and landlord associations such as EMPO which is why we have opened a consultation and we hope they will take part in the consultation and attend the landlord specific meetings we are organising as part of the consultation.

We have seen the benefits the scheme has had in Netherfield and while we appreciate that the landlord associations are focusing on the cost to their clients, we have seen that the benefits of the scheme outweigh the costs which are less than those in the Nottingham City scheme. 

This scheme is about improving the living conditions in areas identified as in most need of improvement. If the scheme was to be approved, it would not begin until, at the very earliest, summer 2021.

We want to create safer communities for our residents and reduce hardship and inequality and this scheme would help contribute towards that ambition.”

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3 Comments

  • Across Gedling and Nottingham there are many good landlords working with their tenants by adhering to government advice during this difficult time to protect tenancies, by accepting reduced rent and negotiating rent repayment plans in favour of seeking possession.

    Simply put, this is not the time to be considering more costly licensing. Experience in Nottingham shows landlords pass the cost of licensing onto tenants in the form of higher rents. This increases tenant financial hardship and unmanageable demand for social housing. Last month in the Gedling Eye, Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “We understand that this coronavirus outbreak has created significant financial problems for many people which has resulted in rent arrears and the threat of eviction from their homes.

    So why commence a costly landlord licensing consultation?

    It is clear landlords and agents want to work with Gedling Borough Council to deal with the many challenges the property sector is facing due to Coronavirus. To introduce more licensing while Coronavirus is wreaking so much havoc in our communities is reckless and not in the spirt of a working together relationship.

    The council have extensive powers to deal with landlords renting dangerous housing, they must rely on these powers and not licensing until we have the financial impact of the coronavirus under control, which may take many years.

  • Thank–you Gedling Borough Council.

  • It’s a shame Gedling are considering this considering the colossal homeless Nottingham Council Selective Licensing scheme has caused.
    Extortionate rents now to pay for Licensing. Landlords pack up, remaining Landlords charge what they like.
    Benefit Tenant’s can’t move any more. Landlords won’t take em once they see the conditions one has to abide by. Yes it’s now Landlords fault if tenant don’t cut garden.
    All to get at a few bad Landlords, punishing the good tenants in good houses who don’t have a problem.

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