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Largest landlord licensing scheme outside London approved

The government has given the green light to Nottingham council to create the largest landlord licensing scheme outside London.

The scheme will cover more than 30,000 privately rented homes in the city and it aims to offer private tenants greater protection from rogue landlords.

The scheme will be rolled out in selected areas of the city and landlords will need to obtain a licence from the council and meet certain obligations to ensure tenant safety and good management of the property.

Money raised through the scheme will help to cover its administration costs and the local authority hopes to be able to introduce the scheme from summer this year.

The council estimates that more than 90% of Nottingham’s privately rented houses and flats – around 31,000 properties – will benefit from the scheme.

A recent report by the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Group estimated that 21% of Nottingham’s private rented properties are likely to have ‘category one’ hazards. Examples of this type of hazard could include exposed wiring, a dangerous boiler, cold bedrooms, a leaking roof, mould on walls or ceilings and vermin infestation.

According to the council, the licensing scheme will help ensure these issues are addressed.

Accredited landlords can use the Nottingham standard accreditation mark to show that they adhere to the standards required.

This will be a further tool to help tackle rogue and criminal landlords who operate poor housing and don’t manage their houses well, having a negative impact on the tenants and neighbourhoods.

The proposed cost of the licence is to be confirmed and is subject to final approval by the council’s executive board. However, the council states it is likely to be less than £2 per week, per property for accredited landlords and no more than £3 a week for non-accredited landlords.

The council’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, Jane Urquhart, said: ‘I’m pleased that Nottingham’s selective licensing proposal has been approved by the government. In areas that are covered it will help to improve standards for private tenants and landlords will know exactly what they must do to be able to rent their properties out.

‘Having a selective license will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide good accommodation for tenants,’ she added.

‘This is a major step forward in improving living standards for many city residents.’

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