A group of landlords in Durham are urging other private landlords with properties in the county to sign up to an alternative to the council’s proposed selective licensing scheme, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Durham County Council is proposing to introduce a large selective licensing scheme, covering approximately 51,000 private rented properties.
If the plans are approved, landlords with rental properties within the designated areas of the scheme will be required to pay up to £590 per property to obtain a licence, in order to carry on letting the property lawfully.
However, some landlords in the UK, supported by the NRLA and local landlord associations, have come together to oppose the council’s proposals and have put forward an alternative voluntary scheme for landlords to sign up to.
Durham Pluss is encouraging landlords across the county to join them in supporting the alternative scheme, which would involve a partnership between the council and landlords, designed to improve the standards of rented properties in County Durham.
Suzy Chivers, landlord and chair of Durham Pluss. said: “Durham Council are proposing a selective licensing scheme that is currently in public consultation until 24 May 2020, despite the current Covid-19 recommendations. Because of our concerns over the proposal we had approached the council at the end of 2019 with an alternative which we feel will achieve the same objectives.
“The good, law abiding landlords will be forced to pay a significant fee to obtain a licence to rent out each of their properties (which could mean rental increases for tenants), whilst the bad landlords will ignore the scheme and continue to flout the law to the detriment of tenants and/or neighbourhoods.”
She added: “We believe the Durham Pluss proposal, which would be a collaborative scheme with the council, is a better way forward. Currently more than 400 landlords, accounting for over 5,000 rental properties, have come on board with us and we would encourage other landlords with rental properties across Durham Council area to sign up.
“There are no costs involved to sign up and we aim to keep landlords informed as the proposal progresses.”
Gavin Dick, NRLA Local authority policy officer said: “The NRLA will be making a formal response to this consultation and we would encourage private landlords in Durham to do the same and to support the alternative scheme put forward by the landlords at Durham Pluss.”