By Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter
People who rent out properties in Nottingham must continue to pay hundreds of pounds towards selective licences, despite several reporting decreases in income due to the coronavirus.
The controversial scheme means every landlord must pay for a licence for each property they rent out.
As of the start of the month, the cost is £890 for for non-accredited landlords and £670 for those with accreditation, payable in two installments. The fee covers the cost of a licence for five years.
However several tenants have reported difficulties paying their rent due to the severe economic downturn.
And landlords have been emailed during the crisis saying they are still required to make payments.
An email sent out, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, said: “You are now required to make the second part of your licence fee payment.
“There may be additional payments which have been added to your second payment.
“All fees should be paid within 14 days.
“If you do not pay the second part of your licence, the council may review its decision to grant a licence and re-issue a draft refusal.”
However the council says it is ‘listening’ and would encourage landlords to get in touch with them if they are having difficulties paying.
Councillor Linda Woodings is the portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, and represents the Basford ward for Labour.
She said: “We are aware that some landlords will be having a tough time at the moment, with the loss of rental income and other financial difficulties.
“We are listening and would encourage them to make contact with us if this is affecting them and their ability to make an application.
“On top of this, the Government has already put in place measures to support both landlords and tenants, including things like mortgage holidays.
“Housing licencing schemes ensure that housing standards are maintained, which is more important than ever as people are confined to their homes.
“Housing licensing payments are a legal requirement that allow us to make sure landlords are renting homes that meet basic health and welfare and safety standards.
“Our three schemes do not make profits for the council, but it has to be financially viable over its five-year term.
“There is a range of financial and practice advice for tenants and landlords on our website.”