If you are a Nottingham landlord then you will already have heard quite a bit about the introduction of new House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations. The casual bystander would probably assume anything to eliminate rogue landlords would be a good thing, but a closer look makes it easy to see why just about every landlord in the city is against this scheme.
According to the council, the scheme has been introduced to try to improve the quality of the private rental sector (PRS) in Nottingham, in particular for HMOs. The PRS accounts for 23% of homes within the city, and HMOs make up around a quarter of that figure. This is quite a large percentage, and even though the council acknowledges there are many well maintained homes operated by excellent landlords within this sector, it feels some homes are badly managed, have poor amenities and are overcrowded. Instead of tackling the few landlords at fault, it has decided to penalise the law-abiding majority who work hard to provide tenants with decent housing.
Three storey HMOs with more than five tenants have been licensed since 2006, and this new scheme will include most HMOs that are covered under the 2004 Housing Act. It is estimated that the scheme will affect approximately 3,200 HMOs in areas including Arboretum, Lenton, Radford, Hyson Green, Sneinton and The Meadows.
Landlords affected by this scheme are vowing to fight it. The council claimed most people were in favour of it, but dissenters point out that only 650 people responded with their thoughts on the scheme. Landlords will have to pay a one-off fee of nearly £1000 for the scheme which comes into force on 1st January next year, and which is due to run for five years.
It is easy to see why landlords in Nottingham are up in arms about having to pay another fee, not to mention the hassle that will inevitably be involved with the whole process.
Jonathan Detheridge of GO Property Services comments:
“Without wishing to seem too skeptical, this extension to licensing looks far more about raising revenue and employing more bureaucrats than it is about raising housing standards.  Nottingham City Council are inherently anti-landlord and are completely deluded about the sort of people that will want to rent the vacant houses their policies are creating. You have to question the council’s motives when rather than tackle rogue landlords using the powers they already have, the council is instead choosing to concentrate its efforts on introducing yet more lucrative red tape. With rent rises already affecting many households in the city, this further increase will not help”