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industry news


East Midlands council consults on new PRS licensing scheme


Country’s largest build to rent development underway


Construction has started on a massive building project to deliver almost 7,000 homes, mostly for private rent at Wembley Park, next to the national football stadium in north west London. Quintain who own the 85 acre site expect to


Nottingham City Council is consulting residents over the introduction of a city wide selective licensing scheme – with each licence set to cost landlords £600 per property. The scheme’s outline was approved late


last year and a consultation exercise with tenants, residents, landlords, and other interested parties began in January. The scheme will require private landlords


to obtain a licence demonstrating that they and their properties meet specific standards. The proposed standard licence fee is £600 per property with a discount of £140 for accredited landlords.


“The scheme can become one of the largest in the country, with an estimated 43,000 privately rented properties”


If approved, the Nottingham scheme will


be one of the largest in the country, with the city home to an estimated 43,000 privately rented properties. The scheme has the potential to raise more than £25 million for the council. The Council said that it has received over


4,500 complaints in the last four years about privately rented properties, about problems ranging from dangerous electrical wiring, cockroach infestations, lack of windows and to smoke alarms not working. A report to the Council on 22 November


highlighted that poorly managed and maintained properties in areas that also have a high proportion of private rented housing, see higher levels of crime and anti- social behaviour. Councillor Jane Urquhart, the Council’s


Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said “Introducing a new licensing scheme for landlords is one of the most important measures we can take to improve the quality of housing in the city, which is why we made it a key objective in the Council Plan published last year.” The scheme could be introduced from


Spring 2018.


have work underway on at least 3,000 homes during the course of this year alongside a new seven acre public park, a landscaped square, a new primary school, GP surgery and a wide range of shops, restaurants and workspaces. An estimated 8,640 new jobs will be created in addition to the construction jobs. The company has planning permission for a


total of 6,955 homes at Wembley Park, of which 995 homes have already been completed and occupied and a total of 4,874 homes will be built for renting through Tipi, their own management company. The new homes are to be delivered in phases over the next seven years with the first completions in the summer. A further 2,081 other homes are also being


built, either for outright sale, shared ownership or at a discounted rent and being managed by a housing association. Of these 800 homes have already been completed.


Transformation


Wembley Park is believed to be the largest single-site purpose built private rental sector development anywhere in the UK. Quintain has already invested £900m in the transformation of Wembley Park and has a further £800m of funding secured, with planning permission in place. The existing Tipi managed apartments are


available furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished, with communal lounges, gardens, roof terraces, gyms, secure underground parking and cinema rooms. Tipi’s tenants will pay no agent’s fees, no inventory fees, a reduced deposit and all their


utility bills and ultra-fast broadband are included in the rent. Tipi’s on-site management means tenants do not need to search out an absent landlord or managing agent. Tipi will also manage those homes available at a discounted rent as part of the affordable housing package.


Commitment


Angus Dodd, Chief Executive of Quintain, said: “Our commitment to build to rent at Wembley Park means we can deliver the homes London needs far faster than if we were selling homes privately and ensures they will be occupied very shortly after they are complete. “This long term commitment also means we


can design homes specifically for the needs of today’s generation of renters and provide fantastic shared facilities and professional management arrangements which our residents love. We will ensure no apartment is left empty.” Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent


Council, said: “To have 3,000 new homes under construction in one location this year shows just how in demand Wembley Park is as a place to live and it is comforting to know that with professional management in place, we won’t have a single rogue landlord. “I have been hugely impressed with


the quality of homes being built at Wembley Park and Quintain has also made a huge investment to upgrade all the public spaces around the area to bring the place alive with events, shops, workspaces and other attractions. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “This


development will provide 5,000 much-needed private rented homes for Londoners. It will take time to fix the housing crisis, but at City Hall we are committed to help deliver schemes like this that will increase the supply of homes across the capital.”


Midlands council to invest £180m in its housing stock


One of the country’s largest council landlords has approved plans to spend £183m on its housing services over the next four years. Birmingham City Council currently owns


and manages just over 62,000 homes. It is going to spend £169m upgrading around 20,000 tenants’ homes and a further £15m on adaptions, clearance works and redevelopment costs between 2017/18 and 2019/2020. Peter Griffiths, cabinet member for housing


and homes at Birmingham City Council, said “The average age of our properties is approaching 70 years, so investing in our stock is essential in order to safeguard its condition.”


16 | HMM March 2017 | www.housingmmonline.co.uk


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