Coventry City Council has begun a 10-week consultation on introducing both selective and additional licensing in several areas that could see landlords charged £773 a year per rental property for a five-year licence.
The schemes would raise approximately £2.5 million for the council, which says it would be spent on running them, and would cover the St Michael’s and Foleshill wards of the city, both of which are two of the city’s most deprived and student-dominated areas.
Coventry is the largest private rented property market in the West Midlands but the council says concerns have been raised from residents about the quality of some of the housing provided within the sector.
Some 44% of homes in the areas being proposed are privately rented properties, almost twice the national average, and in one area it has reached 63%.
The council says residents have experienced anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and ‘noise nuisance’ in areas where there are high densities of rental property.
Coventry is proposing both a Selective Licensing scheme, which would require all landlords within large swathes of its city centre to pay to join a licensing scheme, and Additional Licensing for Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
The National Landlords claims the schemes will push up rents in the area by £13 a month per person, and has warned that: “local authorities such as Coventry Council should be aware that selective licensing is a housing policy, not a social policy, and should not be seen as the sole response to deep-rooted problems such as anti-social behaviour, which councils often cite as a reason for introducing schemes.”
The consultation runs Wednesday 20 March 2019.