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OPINION: Selective licensing scheme is ‘clearly a stealth tax’


James Stephenson from the Woodthorpe Ward Conservatives writes that he thinks the council should target rogue landlords and not punish the good ones.

Gedling Labour’s Selective Licensing Scheme risks, according to their own consultation, increasing rents. The scheme which was recently implemented by Nottingham City Labour, also highlights the ever increasing policy influence the £1 billion debt-ridden City Council has in Gedling’s affairs.

Since being implemented in the city, selective licensing has according to residents, resulted in people being kicked out of their homes as landlords charge more or simply sell up and leave altogether. Nottingham residents have shared stories of families being made homeless by landlords selling up and rents increasing by £25 and £35 per month to cover the licensing scheme costs.

It is common sense to most people that landlords will pass on the costs to renters and not absorb the cost as a gesture of goodwill.

Gedling Labour have shown a lack of understanding or sensitivity towards how the private rented sector or business works. Hit with an unexpected up-front license cost of either £490 or £640, it is common sense to most people that landlords will pass on the costs to renters and not absorb the cost as a gesture of goodwill.

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Once you factor in the other costs of mandatory licence holder training, six monthly inspections, anti-social behaviour reporting requirements and the myriad of on-going management costs, it is difficult to see how Gedling Labour believe that rents wouldn’t be affected. Granted, if the scheme allowed landlords to pay £2.50 a week, which Gedling Labour constantly state in their literature, online and in their consultation responses, there may be an argument to say rents shouldn’t go up.

However, Gedling Labour’s two-part fee, which they say is to mitigate any potential rent increases are charged firstly, when someone applies for the scheme and secondly, when the application is processed. Effectively making it an up-front cost.

Gedling residents deserve better than a scheme which clearly is a stealth tax and has led to increased rents elsewhere when implemented. Gedling Conservatives believe that it is better to target rogue landlords individually and enforce the current laws, instead of punishing good landlords and by extension increasing the cost of living for Gedling borough residents.

  • Do you agree with James’ view on the Selective Licensing Scheme? Have your say in the comments section below

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  1. I’m a private landlord who looks after my property and my tenants. We comply with all the safety certificates and any repairs. I have just installed a new kitchen for my tenants, who have made the property their home for a good number of years. I feel that the imposition of the Selective licensing scheme will penalize good landlords and tenants, who are likely to find themselves homeless or paying large increases. I have already had the SLS imposed on me for a city property, despite paying agents to manage the property, who ensure all documents are in place and the property is in good condition.


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