A new landlord licence for buy-to-let investors in Bristol will cost £1,200, as part of the City Council’s plans to improve living standards for private tenants.
Bristol City Council has decided to impose the fee after finding many rental homes in the area in disrepair or unsafe.
One in five of the properties surveyed by the Council had hazards that were deemed an immediate risk to the health and safety of tenants, according to an independent survey.
Cabinet Member Paul Smith claims that it would cost Bristol City Council in the region of £1m per year to inspect around 6,000 private rental homes.
He says: “We know from experience that licensing is a good way to deal with issues of poor standards of accommodation and inefficient property management.
“As the private rented sector continues to grow, it is vital that we continue to take steps to help protect vulnerable tenants and ensure that everyone in the city has access to decent housing.”
The licence, which will require landlords to meet a series of requirements, will last for five years. It will apply to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in 12 different areas across Bristol: Ashley, Bishopston and Ashley Down, Central, Clifton, Clifton Down, Cotham, Easton, Hotwells and Harbourside, Lawrence Hill, Redland, Southville and Windmill Hill.
Local landlords, however, are opposed to the new scheme.
Rob Crawford, the Chair of the Association of Local Landlords in Wessex, comments: “We are aware there are landlords who are not as good as others, and do need some help and education in providing the appropriate standard of accommodation. But why should good landlords be charged to address those issues from rogue landlords?”
Do you own rental properties in Bristol? If so, you must be compliant with the new landlord licence requirement.
Landlords who fail to comply could be charged thousands of pounds in fines.