Nottingham City Council's selective licensing scheme was introduced over three months ago, and already thousands of landlords have had their applications turned down apparently because they were not filled out or completed correctly.
Across the whole of the UK councils have been rolling out new licensing schemes in their attempt to stamp out rogue landlords and 'improve standards in the private rented sector'.
Many irate landlords are heavily criticising the council for being totally unprepared to deal with the applications for the somewhat controversial scheme. They have called it as nothing more than “bonkers”, and are accusing the council of letting their workers 'sink in paperwork' because of the number of applications and the tortuous documentation that must be submitted.
There is a common opinion that the scheme's standard licensing fee of as much as £780 per property in the designated areas, is nothing more than a money grabbing operation as it could net Nottingham council up to £23 million.
Mike Siebert, chair of Nottingham Park Residents Association, said: “It [the licensing scheme] is just a way of making money for the council”,
According to the council, there are approximately 32,000 properties that require a licence and since the scheme's introduction in August it has already received 13,450 applications.
So far the council has managed to process 5,993 of the applications, but there are over 3,536 landlords that have been refused due to paperwork errors.
The fees for a five a year licence per property are £480 for accredited landlords and £780 for non-accredited. There are many people involved in the sector that believe the council's plan will cause landlords to raise rents, and it is likely that rogue landlords will simply turn a blind eye to it as they have done so with many other regulations.
Siebert continued: “It backfires if rents go up. It is more expensive to rent than get a mortgage so it will be worse for them. If everyone puts up the price of rent what is it achieving?”
There are nineteen areas within the council's boundaries that will be affected by the new licensing scheme - Arboretum, Bestwood, Bulwell, Bulwell Forest, Basford, Berridge, Bridge, Clifton North, Clifton South, Dales, Dunkirk and Lenton, Leen Valley, Mapperley, Radford and Park, Sherwood, St Ann’s, Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey.
Giles Inman, business development manager of an East Midlands association that represents around 600 landlords told Nottinghamshire Live: “The reality is they are sinking in paperwork. They have employed about 70 staff overall to run this licensing scheme.
“We are now over three months into this scheme and they have only a third of the applications in and still trawling through that third. There have been a lot of rejections and a lot of people phoning me up. Everyone is fed up with the whole thing.”