Landlords now have ten weeks to let the council know their views on the schemes which will cover 65% of the county and 51,000 private rented properties.

Landlords are being given the chance to share their views on a proposed large-scale selective licensing scheme across County Durham.

Covering 43 of its 66 areas – 65% of the county – it would include 51,000 private rented properties, as part of the county council’s bid to crack down on anti-social behaviour, low demand and deprivation.

Durham County Council has already run three selective licensing schemes in Dean Bank, Ferryhill, Chilton West and Wembley in Easington Colliery, that ended in 2019.

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It says these made a positive impact, with a drop in reported crime and anti-social behaviour and positive improvements in both the condition and management of private rented properties.

It hopes the new five-year scheme will prompt better managed and maintained housing through the scheme and result in fewer empty properties, improve the health and wellbeing of tenants and reduce anti-social behaviour, while providing support and training to landlords.

Councillor Kevin Shaw, cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, says: “Through the selective licensing scheme, we will be able to work closely with landlords to provide information, advice, guidance and tenancy support.

“We will also be able to work with tenants themselves to help improve the standards of housing and with our communities to reduce anti-social behaviour.”

This proposed areas include: Consett West and Castleside, Hutton Henry and Wingate, Langley Park, Cornsay and Satley, Crook South and Willington North and Cassop and Coxhoe. A council consultation ends on 27th April.

Find out more from the council website.

3 COMMENTS

  1. As a portfolio Landlord I have paid Durham Council tens of thousands of pounds in council tax when any of my properties are vacant .Durham council have done very well off me over the years and other councils have a free hand out from Landlords across the uk. and now they want more money from us. The government is in the process of increasing our tax as it is. This will only temp Landlords to increase rent to cover the extra cost.

  2. Agreed, I have always ensured high standards of my properties, ensuring properties are well maintained and safe. This is a poorly conceived blunt instrument which will penalise the good landlords and inevitably simply lead to the increase in rents for tenants to cover these costs. Legislation is already, quite rightly, in place to protect tenants from poor landlords but it is poorly implemented. Along with the declining tax benefits this is something that will just tempt me to sell and pass over to someone who probably won’t be as conscientious as me

  3. This is a disgrace. Durham County Council are trying to run a protection racket. ‘Pay us £500 and we might allow you to let your property, if you fit our criteria’. They are trying to foist their own poor standards on to private landlords and the blame for all society’s ills. The legislation behind this, passed by the last Labour government, is not fit for purpose and needs to be repealed, the sooner the better.

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