Council defends £43,000 licensing fee for landlord

Gareth Stobart

A council has defended its decision to charge a landlord around £43,000 for student accommodation, despite a standard annual charge of £800.

Gareth Stobart said Middlesbrough Council was charging the £800 for each of 52 bedrooms at student accommodation Linthorpe Hall 248.

The private landlord was left stunned at the bill, especially in light of the fact that university-owned sites are exempt form the charge.

The council insists that the flats were “licensable dwellings”, and given that the facility is “privately owned and operated”, it was not different to other privately-rented properties that command a licensing fee.

Stobart, group property manager at Linthorpe Property Management, said he and other landlords were being unfairly treated; “it’s just crazy”, he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

He insisted that the building been designated as purpose-built student accommodation but he had been told it would be classified as houses of multiple occupation (HMO) for the purposes of the fee.

“No other student properties of our size are required to pay a licence [because] the council states they are operated by an educational body so don’t require one,” he said.

“Why aren’t the university-operated buildings being classed as HMOs?”

The licence, which applies in the town’s Newport area and is meant to provide support and advice for landlords, was introduced in 2019 but is due to be reviewed early next year. s.

A council spokesperson said Linthorpe Hall 248 was not exempt as it is not controlled by an “educational establishment”.

“The income generated by the licence fee pays solely for the staff who deliver the scheme and the council makes no profit,” they added.

 

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4 Comments

  1. MickRoberts

    And the Govt & Councils & tenants wonder why rents are going up.
    Tenants get zero for Selective Licensing, except a rent increase.
    Improve 2% of houses, 98% get worse.

    Report
  2. Woodentop

    Outrageous, same landlord so should only pay one licence fee, as ‘his’ licence will cover all the properties. This is common in many parts of the UK. Putting the fee on the property is nothing more than money grabbing and people wonder why landlords say ‘stuff it’ and leave the market.

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    1. MickRoberts

      I’ve been saying this for years.
      Is it a License on me or the house? If me, yes I should only have do one admin & License fee.
      If the house, then why do I have to send my passport in 36 times, you already have my passport?

      Report
      1. Woodentop

        Exactly as there is more than adequate laws controlling property condition/requirements, why a licence!

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