Campaigns East Local Government

Licensing plans ditched

letting agent fees
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

A selective licensing scheme planned for areas of Wisbech has been shelved.

Under the scheme landlords would have been required to buy five year licences for £575 – more for those with HMOs – and be able to show they were ‘fit and proper’ persons to rent out property.

The plan, which would have seen 2,400 rented homes in seven Wisbech wards brought under new controls, was proposed in a bid to improve standards and reduce crime and anti social behaviour.

However, opponents said that the scheme would see “tenants nudged into nearby towns and villages, moving problems elsewhere” and would only serve to force “black market landlords deeper underground.”

In addition, landlords complained the plans were unnecessary, the costs were too high and the council should focus solely on ‘rogues’, with 85% of landlords questioned by the council opposing the licensing plan.

The RLA had also objected to the scheme in an official response to the council’s consultation.

The Conservative group – which has a large majority on Fenland Council – was unable to agree on the plans and, following several postponements, they have now been ditched altogether.

The council has announced it will instead create a “task force” set up to explore alternative ways of tackling problems with private rented accommodation in Wisbech and improve enforcement.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

1 Comment

  • If ALL landlords simply refused to pay any license at all across B. Isles then how is this going to be enforced? Will they send us all to prison?
    If the government continue to persecute good landlords they need to prepared for a social disaster. We have only one flat we let since 2007 to various tenants who have done a lot of damage to our lovely flat. The procedure for claiming tenants deposit to cover a small part of the cost of repair is a waste of time. Long drawn out – months – only to receive half deposit £250 against £2000 of damages.
    If the government are not going to allow the mortgage as an expense against income, firstly why? Any other business having property with a mortgage can. We have finally got a good tenant for the last year who keeps the flat clean, gets on with neighbours & pays rent on time. Disallowing mortgage as an expense means we have to pass it on to our tenant, which they won’t be able to afford, or will we most likely sell it, just not worth any more trouble with the vampire government sucking every last drop of blood out of us.
    As for tenant who is Lithuanian, a care worker who has worked in uk 11 years will be forced to return home being unable to afford higher rent.

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