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NW city ignores landlord concerns over bigger licencing scheme

blackpool hmo licencing

Concerns among landlords over the future of Blackpool's selective licensing have been swept aside after councillors approved the hugely enlarged scheme, which must now go to Michael Gove for the final green light.

A consultation about the scheme covering 11,000 privately rented properties in the central area of Blackpool, including the eight key wards of Bloomfield, Brunswick, Claremont, Talbot, Tyldesley, Warbreck, Waterloo and Victoria, recently finished. It found that 77% of local landlords opposed the enlarged scheme.

Dawn Smith, speaking on behalf of a group of Blackpool landlords, said the council should "use other powers to target bad landlords and warned many good landlords would sell up", she told The Gazette.

“I cannot afford the selective licences, so my tenants will have to pay. How will they afford it in the current climate?  I already have one sale going through and others will follow for sure if this comes in."

The current scheme only covers approximately 2,000 properties and ends next month.

Blackpool Council says it recognises the intrinsic link between poor quality private rented accommodation and deprivation.

A report highlights that too much of its private rented housing stock is of poor quality, which is particularly acute within these areas, where there is a high ratio of privately rented properties.

Category 1 hazards

Evidence from the DLUHC-funded Decent Homes Pilot shows that at least one in every three private rented properties inspected in this area contains at least one category 1 hazard. Examples include excess damp, cold and mould and dangerous stairs or electrics.

Councillor Mark Smith (pictured), cabinet member for Levelling Up Place, says it’s vital that the council tackles this issue head on and supports private landlords to make the necessary improvements.

“We recognise that many landlords provide accommodation far above and beyond the minimum standards required by law in Blackpool but unfortunately, there are many properties that fall below acceptable standards,” he adds.

“We hope that this will be a positive move for responsible landlords, as ensuring more properties are up to these standards should improve the attractiveness of their property and help them to find better tenants.”

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