Landlords 'complain of council persecution' from licensing

by Sarah Ashcroft

Many landlords in the UK have become fed up with what they believe is persecution from local councils and authorities.

The Daily Telegraph has told how private landlords in the country have come together to complain about the way they are treated and suggested that they are treated as "cash cows ripe for milking".

In particular, they believe local authorities across the UK have introduced a range of unfair charges that make it harder for them to make a profit. What's more, they think these unjust fees and taxes mean letting properties responsibly has become more difficult.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, said the new costs being brought in by councils are "a creeping plague" that are pushing landlords towards a point where renting out homes is no longer a viable option.

The first area that has angered so many people in the trade is selective licensing, which involves asking landlords to join a register. It costs money to sign up and this eats into the profit a landlord is able to make.

Mr Ward explained: "A councillor will say he has a problem in his area regarding, say, antisocial behaviour. He will go to a local council officer who in turn will suggest a landlord licensing arrangement as a way to pay. That is the pattern and it is gaining momentum."

The other issue that is weighing heavily on landlords is the growing feeling that only the responsible ones in the sector sign registers and pay the relevant fees, while others get away with ignoring the rules.

A conference last week indicated one council in the UK has raised £6 million in less than two years through the licensing register scheme.

While the financial impact on landlords in general is difficult to assess, Mr Ward believes unfair charges are draining their pockets of between one and two months' rent in every five years.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801699893-ADNFCR

Published on: March 3, 2014

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