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Council to 'educate' renters in person if they live within new licencing areas


Gateshead plans to include a third of its private rented properties in a selective licencing scheme that also aims to improve tenants’ wellbeing and prompt landlords to boost energy efficiency.  

The council already operates a scheme in the Saltwell ward, covering 951 privately rented homes, which is due to expire next April.

A proposed expansion would see selective licensing imposed in 16 areas, encompassing about 5,400 homes in wards with high levels of deprivation, poor housing conditions and recurrent anti-social behaviour.

The fee for the current scheme is £750 but the new scheme would cost landlords £850 across 10 of the town’s wards: Birtley, Bridges, Chopwell and Rowlands Gill, Deckham, Dunston and Teams, Felling, High Fell, Lobley Hill and Bensham, Saltwell and Whickham North.

Its report warns that ineffective property and tenancy management by some landlords is having a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable private renters.

Unusual feature

Unusually, the authority hopes to include a home visit or a ‘tenant meeting’ with each household renting within the area affected under a new scheme.

It explains that this would aim to, “support the sustainability of the tenancy by linking the resident with services they may need including education, employment or health related services, identifying opportunities to maximise their income or to link them with activities within the community that support their wellbeing”.

The tenant meeting would also identify fuel poverty and poor energy efficiency and, “trigger installation of insulation, links with employment related services and benefit maximisation”.

Plans would be phased in by targeting an initial 3,000 properties with the most serious health hazards and would then need government approval to roll out the full scheme. The council will now carry out a consultation.

Read more about Gateshead.


Selective licensing