Residents are being consulted on a new licensing scheme to improve letting standards in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council are holding consultations until March 31, 2017 to give “local people, tenants, landlords, letting agents and other interested individuals and organisations the chance to comment on the proposals”.

The ‘Selective Licensing’ scheme would see private landlords have to obtain a license to prove that they and their properties met required standards, with the licence costing “£600 for five years with proposed £140 discount for accredited landlords”.

Although the amount of housing privately rented has increased over the years, with Nottingham 3 per cent higher than the average for England between 2001 and 2011, the council are hoping to eliminate the complaints they receive for substandard housing.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said: “a licensing scheme for private landlords is a key objective in the Council Plan published last year in order to improve the quality of privately rented housing in the city.”

“People renting privately have a right to expect a decent standard of accommodation. Many of the 43,000 plus privately rented properties in the city are well-managed but, judging by the 4,500 complaints we have dealt with over the last four years, a significant number aren’t.”

Cllr Urquhart also believes that the scheme would change the local community, benefiting tenants, communities, tax payers and landlords.

“Poorly managed properties cause problems for local neighbourhoods affected by the crime and anti-social behaviour that can result.

“We’re keen for as many people as possible have their say in the consultation”.

While welcoming the scheme, the National Landlords Association cautioned that it may not be a quick fix.

“Licensing schemes can be effective in improving the standard of private sector housing, but too often schemes are applied as a blanket solution across large parts of a city and fail to demonstrate any benefit to tenants or the wider community in the long run.”