Racism row erupts over new licensing laws

Racism row erupts over new licensing laws

A racism row has erupted on the back of proposed changes to Houses in Multiple Occupation in Nottingham. Over 700 letters objecting to the changes have been passed to the city council which plans to further its control of HMO’s through a licensing scheme.

Landlord Shad Ali handed in the letters on the last day of consultation on the plans.

Ali said: “There are clearly a lot of people who don’t agree with these plans and are concerned about the impact of them.”

He said the council should have looked at the racial equality impact of its proposals, because he said they will impact disproportionately on the number of Asians who own properties in the areas concerned.

Cllr David Liversidge, portfolio holder for Commissioning and Voluntary Sector at the city council, said: “We will listen to any constructive feedback from this consultation, but this position is ill-informed and appears designed to protect the interests of landlords at the expense of leaving tenants without the protection from rogue landlords they need.

“We completely refute any accusation that our scheme is discriminatory.

“We have set out very clear reasons for introducing this scheme, our proposed licence costs compare favourably with many similar schemes and our consultation has been carried out in line with Government guidelines.

“We have had a meeting with a group of landlords including Mr Ali and their views are being added to the consultation for consideration, but at the moment they seem determined to avoid increased costs.

“The reality is that a small additional cost will provide much-needed regulation in the private rented sector to protect the interests and health and safety of tenants, including students, and help to tackle issues like antisocial behaviour and disrepair.

“We remain committed to working with good landlords and improving the standards of rented accommodation in the city.”

Huddersfield Letting Agent owner, Alex Barron had the following to say “it’s sad that these arguments have arisen, but the important factor is the safety of the tenants. The council have a duty of care to uphold at the end of the day.”