Additional licensing: for and against

An additional cost?Additional licensing schemes have been brought in by many local authorities.

Cardiff Council introduced the scheme last year, for example, to raise the standards of properties in a popular student area of the city.
It has just been reported that in its first year the scheme raised £300,000. On one hand, it’s a nice earner for the council, on the other, perhaps it’s a necessary crackdown.

To the dismay of many landlords in the area, 1,500 properties need to be licensed. Landlords in the defined area of Cathays need to apply for an additional licence if they have three or more unrelated people living in a house or flat.

The additional licensing scheme checks things like fire safety and ensures gas and electricity certificates are up to date.

Making sure a property is up to standard is vital but is such a blatant fee generating exercise required? Many are of the view that the local authority hadn’t done enough to prove they had exhausted other avenues.

That said, there are landlords that don’t take responsibility and give the rest a bad name.

The local councillor of the Cathays area of Cardiff said: “Almost everybody I speak to in Cathays feels that the landlords don’t look after their properties well enough. Most landlords don’t care because they don’t live in the local area.”

Maybe in some areas self regulation just isn’t enough and the council needs to step in with schemes like this; what do you think?