Nottingham City Council has announced a fee increase for their ailing Selective Licence Scheme that was only launched in 2018. In a move that will anger landlords and undoubtedly increase rents further for tenants, the fee from April 2020 for new licences will increase to nearly £900!

The city council claims that the current fee structure does not cover overheads and they need to recruit more staff, which is pushing up the fee. The council have also recently started to add penalty fees to current licence applications if they have had to raise queries. Landlords on the other had are questioning what the positive impacts of the scheme have been after the recent progress report showed very few licenses issued, very few prosecutions, and a huge shortfall in the anticipated number of applications.

With Nottingham’s Selective Licensing Scheme already the most expensive of its kind in the country, the scheme has been controversial since inception. Before launch, the vast majority of landlords and agents warned of rent rises and increased homelessness, and both are appearing to be very justified concerns. Agents across the city are seeing landlords throwing in the towel, which whilst great for first-time-buyers, is only serving to reduce supply at a time when both the city’s universities are over-subscribed and struggling to fulfil their own housing need.

Rent UP

 

Rising Rents

According to research carried out by Zoopla, Nottingham has seen the rents rise at the fastest rate in the country and this is being largely attributed to the licensing scheme. https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/selective-licensing-blamed-nottingham-reaching-3435063

Selective Licensing is being seen as the preferred method by councils to drive out the so-called ‘rogue landlords’ and improve standards. The problem with the Nottingham scheme is that it is so vast, the council clearly can’t cope with the application process itself, never mind doing the job the scheme is meant to perform. Similar, more concentrated, schemes in other parts of the country have proved to be a great success but those lessons have been sadly ignored.