The scheme requires landlords to apply for a licence to operate student homes

Nottingham City Council plans to extend a licensing scheme which tackles rowdy students blighting residential areas.

Landlords have had to apply for a council licence to operate a HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) in areas of Nottingham since 2014.

This scheme applies to HMOs where three to five unrelated people live and share one property, which is predominately students in areas such as Lenton, Radford and Park and the Arboretum.

Larger HMOs are covered by a different scheme.

The licence ensures the property is kept to a safe and decent standard and ensures rogue landlords move properties into responsible ownership.

But the scheme is also to reduce anti-social behaviour in areas blighted by noise by forcing landlords to be more responsible.

Giles Inman, from East Midlands Property Owners (EMPO) which represents landlords in the city, told the Post: “If you look at Lenton and Dunkirk the additional licensing was the main motivator to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime – and improve the management style of landlords.

“Around 85 percent of these properties are licensed. If you look at the police stats crime has gone up, and you have to draw your own conclusions.

“This was the golden goose to deal with all this but if you listen to residents’ groups it has been as bad as it ever has been.

“There are a lot of phone calls made about noise in Lenton. The landlord is not called until a few weeks later about the incident (by the council). It should be the next day.

“But there have been improvements and housing standards have gone up.”

The council has issued 2,458 licences under the previous scheme, with nine landlords prosecuted and three receiving civil penalty final notices (financial penalties).

The current five-year scheme will soon end, so the council is consulting on proposals for a new scheme, which would run for a further five years from January 2019.

The new ‘Additional Licensing’ scheme is proposed to cover all or parts of the following wards: Arboretum, Berridge, Bridge, Dales, Dunkirk and Lenton, Mapperley, Radford and Park, Sherwood, St Ann’s and Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey.

New or extended areas include around 150 properties in Sherwood, Berridge, St Ann’s and the Bridge.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning and housing at the city council, said: “This scheme, along with others, is a major part of our plans to improve all types of private rented housing in the city.

“Not only does the scheme help to improve poorer standards of accommodation, it means tenants know what is expected of their landlord in terms of the management of their home.

“It also helps us to tackle rogue and bad landlords by providing a clear set of guidelines which all landlords need to meet, and helps prevent bad landlords cutting corners or ‘undercutting’ good ones, creating a level playing field for all.

“We are encouraging landlords, managing agents, residents and tenants to have their say on these proposals to help us shape the new scheme.”

Concerns have also been raised by landlords about the price hike of the new scheme.

It is proposed the cost of a licence will go up from £910 per property for five years to £1,000 for accredited landlords, £1,350 for non accredited and £1,750 for any landlord that has breached their licence.

Mr Inman added: “The fees have raised eyebrows.”

A consultation on the new scheme began on May 1 and is running until July 20. You can find out more here.

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