Landlord licensing plan trialled in Bristol

Landlords in Bristol will have to apply for a licence to let their properties as part of a trial scheme aimed at improving conditions for tenants.

The licence, being trialled in the Easton area, will cost property owners £100.

As part of the application, they will have to supply safety certificates and ensure smoke alarms are installed.

But some agents say the restrictions could lead to rent rises and described the plan as unethical.

Aris Khan, manager of Brunel Associates Property Management, said: "What we feel, and what the landlords feel around there is that it's not ethical or practical especially in the current financial climate."

The area, which includes St Jude's, Stapleton Road, St Mark's Road and Robertson Road, has been chosen due to the high number of rental homes, complaints from existing tenants about properties and the level of antisocial behaviour reported to the police.

Tom Gilchrist, of Bristol City Council, which is trialling the scheme, said: "What we're looking to do is improve accommodation for vulnerable private tenants living in those areas."

A licence will last for five years during which properties will be inspected and if a landlord is found to be in breach of their licence, they could face fines of up to £5,000.

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