A Blackpool landlord has questioned whether the Council is spending his license fees wisely.
He wants the Council to “Make sure fees improve the area” as he questions how his licensing fees are being spent.
Blackpool landlord Stuart King, who owns rented accommodation across Blackpool, claims that not enough of the money collected as part of Blackpool’s selective licensing scheme, in the Claremont district, is being ploughed back into improving the area.
According to The Blackpool Gazette if the council hadn’t run this scheme, Mr King said the fee money “I had to pay them would have been spent on my houses, which are my investments”.
Stuart King’s comments come after he submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to find out just how Blackpool Council is spending these fees paid by landlords in the borough.
According to the response Mr King received from Blackpool Council, the Claremont scheme has generated income to date of £529,292 with expenditure of £387,033.
In the Blackpool Selective Licensing Scheme, it requires all private in the scheme’s designated area landlords to register for a licence, paying a five-yearly fee of up to £940 per property with up to five dwellings.
The idea behind these schemes is that they pay the council for the extra work involved in tackling anti-social behaviour, by policing the landlords who are operating there and ensuring responsible and safe letting.
Several councils such as Manchester have tried licensing schemes and since decided against them as they have found they alienate landlords and don’t achieve their stated aims. Despite this, other towns and cities such have Liverpool have expended their schemes to include all properties in their boroughs.
Mr King is one of a group of Blackpool landlords protesting against plans to extend the Blackpool selective licensing scheme into the town centre, and has said:
“As a landlord I want the money to be used how it was meant to be in the first place; on the area or the houses.
“If the council hadn’t run this scheme, the fee I had to pay them would have been spent on my houses, which are my investments.
“What the council need to understand is they should be working with the good landlords, proactively and progressively. They should be targeting bad and rogue landlords.”
The council told The Blackpool Gazette it has introduced selective licensing in order to improve housing standards within the private rented sector and tackle anti-social behaviour and that income from selective licensing would be spent over the duration of the schemes.
Landlord Questions Council on Spending of Fees – https://t.co/a9p1I3PrkK
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) December 17, 2015