A new landlord licensing policy has now be put forward by Newcastle City council. However, private landlords in the area are unhappy with this news. They have rejected this idea, which would require them to pay up to £750 per property for a licence.
The council has argued that landlord licensing is necessary, in order to bring about improvements to accommodation. The registration scheme will also help to improve local neighbourhoods and reduce anti-social behaviour.
But the view of many landlords is that such a scheme will only penalise the good landlords, as well as ‘push rents up for tenants.’
Private landlords have described it as using “a sledgehammer to crack a nut”, with over one hundred people gathering to discuss options to oppose the scheme.
Landlord Bruce Haagensen has said that the evidence that they have seen from the council only shows a small number of landlords who are “not doing things correctly”.
Haagensen has commented: “Even if you say 10% are bad that still leaves 17,000 who are good and are being forced to pay money for a licence that really isn’t relevant to them and is ultimately going to push rents up for tenants.”
The scheme would affect about 19,000 properties, but with the council receiving around 1,200 complaints about private accomodation each year, it feels justified in its proposal. Newcastle City Council’s housing team leader Paula Davis has shared her concerns that there are an “awful lot of very vulnerable tenants” within the city.
She commented: “Old people, young people, people who have migrated into the city and maybe don’t speak English as a first language – and they just wouldn’t know who to complain to.”
The scheme would bring in a set of standards, requiring landlords to meet certain conditions and pay a fee to obtain a five-year licence. The licence for landlords with a poor history of compliance will be restricted to one.