South Tyneside landlords have slammed their council’s new selective licensing scheme, labelling it a money-making exercise that’s unaffordable and unfair.

The scheme – approved in November and set to launch in April – will apply to about 3,000 privately-rented properties in Beach Road and its surrounding streets and the Long Streets area – and will cost £550 per property every five years.

Colin Campbell, chair of the borough’s Landlords’ Association (pictured), says it’s a money-making exercise that will effectively penalise landlords who already abide by the rules.

He believes rogue landlords won’t identify themselves as renting out properties, thereby dodging the fees and undermining the scheme.

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Adds Campbell: “Selective licensing is bringing good landlords down for no reason – it’s bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake.”

During a consultation earlier this year, South Tyneside Council received 49 responses including 25 objections from landlords.

According to a council report, several landlords expressed serious reservations about the move during consultation, with many feeling the fee was “unaffordable and unfair”.

However, it insists the scheme will drive up housing standards while providing extra support for landlords and says it will be self-financing and non profit-making.

Area decline

A spokesman explains: “The private rented sector plays an important role in South Tyneside’s housing market, but some areas present challenges where properties have been subject to neglect, leading to increased anti-social behaviour, general area decline and a high turnover of tenancies.

“The introduction of selective licensing in these areas provides the council with an opportunity to drive up standards and reduce turnover in some of the worst privately-rented accommodation.

“Officers will be proactive in identifying tenanted accommodation and engaging with landlords to pursue payment throughout the period of the scheme.”

The National Residential Landlords Association had warned that South Tyneside’s plan to include a condition to check up on properties’ electrical safety as part of the scheme was potentially unlawful, following a Court of Appeal judgement. However, the council promised to remove any unlawful conditions.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Best think ST council can do is go through all the Facebook classified ads and target all the landlords who refuse to go by any of the rules.

  2. Yet again more legalised theft!

    Their claims are laughable, to try justify their tax grab! As they will not achieve anything they claim to be trying to improve on etc.

    Facts are that a run down property – does not create likes of antisocial behavior, it is the greater proportion of scumbag tenants that do it freely!

    Let’s say we stick the scumbags in a Palace – they will still remain scumbags, sadly, that will always do their scumbags things, like antisocial behaviour – for them: it is normal behaviour, learnt behaviours of which probably run in their genes.

    This we’ve seen as fact, a few years back a landlord friend upgraded a property for a young couple, thinking they could help out this young family, sounded a genuinely nice idea 🙁 the Landlord believed in this rubbish and how it would help by altering their behaviour – no chance!!

    Yet, it was just more complaints that lead to the inevitability of them being evicted, which cost a lot more overall to the 1st chance when they should have faced eviction, now the Landlord had a 2nd property to refurbish.

    Plus, as it stands there’s already a multitude of ways that tenants can throw issues at landlords! So, this is genuinely just more legalised theft and another avenue that dirty councils go down, maybe to justify their own over inflated wages.

    Let say in 1 years time, these effected landlords – go through all these claims to see if any one has actually made ‘ANY DIFFERENCE’ as they’ve laughably claimed, as I’d stake our portfolio on it being a big NO!

    Nothing but robbing thieves!!

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