Landlords in Northampton have warned that rental prices may be pushed up in the town if the borough council decides to bring in a new licence fee for private property owners.
Cabinet members will decide next Wednesday whether to begin a consultation into bringing in additional licensing for the management of House of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk) has said she believes the new fee, which could be several hundreds of pounds, would help drive up standards of “poorly managed” rental properties.
But Richard Dawson, who rents out more than 30 properties in the Northampton area, said the new licence fee would not improve standards but would increase rental prices for tenants and punish ‘good’ landlords.
He said: “It will inevitably increase costs for tenants as the landlords will have to pay an extra fee and they will then pass this on. It won’t help tenants living under bad landlords as they will just stay under the radar of Northampton Borough Council.”
Susan Dowding, a landlord in Northampton with 20 years experience, said: “If you have a problem area you should focus on the individual rather than target everyone.
“If there is a bad house with a bad landlord they should bring in selective licensing for that landlord.”