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Landlords have asked Coventry City Council to defer introduction to an extension of its HMO licensing scheme due to come into effect on 4 May.
Extending the scheme now would fly in the face of Government guidelines on combatting the Coronavirus threat, the National Landlord Knowledges Association has told the Council.
‘The guidelines are there to protect tenants and landlords from unnecessary contact. Where a licensing scheme is introduced, landlords have to go into their properties to check that they meet the licensing obligation and maybe need to carry out non-essential works. This exposes them and the tenants to an enhanced risk of contagion’, said NRLA policy director Chris Norris.
‘Several local authorities have done the right thing and paused the introduction of new licensing schemes in response to the crisis including Luton and Newcastle and we are asking Coventry to do the same. ‘It would be thoroughly irresponsible of the Council to ignore the guidelines and go ahead with their plans’.
To run for five years, the additional licensing scheme will apply to HMOs in its Selective Licensing Area occupied by three or four people. Affected landlords will require both an HMO licence and an additional licence.
The new licences will cost just under £600 for landlords judged to be compliant with existing requirements, plus an additional £650 for those judged non-compliant.