Nottingham City Council has begun a consultation on a new selective licensing scheme that would replace the existing one when it comes to an end next year.
Selective licensing requires landlords in the private rented system (PRS) to obtain a licence to show that their properties meet required standards.
While the proposed scheme will still cover a large area within Nottingham, it will be slightly smaller, and more targeted to problem areas.
The proposed scheme will focus on tackling anti-social behaviour, poor property conditions and high levels of deprivation and crime, similar to the existing scheme. Council research has found that 72% of all antisocial behaviour reports come from the areas within the proposed scheme. And almost all housing complaints to the council are from tenants in the PRS.
Portfolio holder for housing and human resources, councillor Toby Neal said: “People renting privately have a right to expect a decent standard of accommodation.
“Many of the 45,000 plus privately rented properties in the city are well-managed but, as part of the current scheme, we still find properties that are to a very poor standard. Homes with damp and mould, homes with no smoke alarms or hot water or heating. So there is more work to be done.
“It is proven that poorly managed properties cause problems for local neighbourhoods that see higher crime and anti-social behaviour rates. The council believes the introduction of a new licensing scheme would not only bring benefits for tenants and local communities, but also landlords who, by obtaining a licence at a reasonable cost, will be able to clearly demonstrate to prospective tenants that they meet required standards.”
Previous research by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has shown that well-run selective licencing schemes can improve the quality of housing and make landlords more willing to carry out the required works to properties.
Councillor Neal added that since the existing scheme came into operation, he and his colleagues have had far fewer residents coming to them with housing complaints. He put this partly down to the success of the scheme in driving up housing standards and pushing out rogue landlords, as well as there being a dedicated team within the council to deal with the PRS and help tenants and landlords.
The cost of the proposed new five-year licence is around £10 a month, paid in two parts – £300 and £350. The consultation runs until 21 August. Other councils with selective licensing schemes include Enfield, Waltham Forest and Liverpool.