Coventry City Council are proposing a new mandatory Selective Licence Scheme in some parts of Coventry. If the scheme is passed all landlords within the areas effected will be liable to pay £773 to cover the cost of the scheme. The council are asking for feedback and the public consultation period runs until 6th November 2016. To have your say or to find out if your property is within the scheme’s proposed area visit the Coventry Council Website
What Matthew James Letting Agents have to say
The council are proposing this scheme to raise the quality of housing in the area which is all well and good. I am concerned that this is only going to serve as an additional cost to good landlords. In addition with the changes in the last budget to property tax and increased cost due to legislation. It is not just becoming unprofitable for landlords. It is getting to the point where some landlords are going to be operating at a loss. Furthermore, rogue landlords and their properties that this is intending to focus on will continue to avoid their responsibilities and the funds collected will be used pursuing this minority of bad landlords. The council are not legally allowed to make a profit on this kind of initiative. However it seems to me that this proposal is a way of recovering funds to subsidise their budget for something that falls under their responsibilities. In conclusion the only loser in this scenario will be the tenants as the cost for this will most likely be absorbed by landlords by increasing rents.
What is the solution?
There is no quick fix for this that is for sure. I do not believe that local council have the power or funding to be able to deal with these issues. It is something that needs to be addressed by the government nationwide. Personally I believe the only way to insure the quality of accommodation is to regulate the industry as a whole. In addition each individual landlord or agent must pass a test ensuring their level of understanding. Consequently each person who is responsible for managing a property would then have a basic knowledge of legislation and landlord responsibilities. By regulating all agents and all individual private landlords you would eradicate uneducated landlords, rogue agents and bring a higher level of professionalism to the industry as a whole.