All private landlords in parts of Scarborough will have to get a selective licence from 1st June under council plans to tackle poor quality accommodation and anti-social behaviour.
Areas of Castle, Northstead and Falsgrave will be covered, with a licence fee of £695 for the five-year period. Discounts may be available for landlords applying early or if they are a member of a recognised landlord association.
Some parts of the area are already subject to a selective licensing scheme under the previous Scarborough North and Scarborough Central designations. There will be a reduced fee for properties previously licensed under these schemes.
Executive member for culture, arts and housing, councillor Simon Myers, says: “The private rented sector within the designated area equates to just over 50% of all the homes there so it is vital we look after the interests of the people who rent them as poor housing can have a big impact on health and social care.”
However, Des Taylor, of Landlord Licencing & Defence, says there is no evidence that any licensing scheme ever achieves the outcomes promised.
"Licensing conditions can also be a minefield because it is beyond landlords’ power to control some of their responsibilities such as a tenant’s anti-social behaviour outside the premises.
“There are cases currently being defended where tenants have confessed to damaging the property and not permitting access, yet the landlord and agent are being enforced against under licence conditions,” he explains.
Landlords should read the conditions carefully and ensure that they are compliant. Adds Taylor: “Licence conditions are one of those things that many people think they have to accept as presented and not realising that once you have accepted all the conditions on that licence, that not complying with them is a criminal offence.”