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NE Landlords slam councils' blanket licencing plan as 'waste of time'

middlesborough landlord licencing

Landlords in the North East have complained that a '�rubber stamped' selective licencing scheme is a 'pure waste of time'� and that they are 'fed up being taxed in this way'�.

The comments concern Middlesborough council's plans to extend its licencing scheme in the central area of Newport, which have now been voted through by politicians despite a consultation revealing that 15 out of 19 private landlords who were interviewed for or responded to a ten-week consultation opposed the scheme.

During a meeting of the council's Executive Committee, the scheme's �836 cost for a five-year licence was voted through, although one independent councillor, Tony Grainge, abstained from the vote because he did not think the fee was fair, reports Teeside News.

The meeting was told that the new scheme will improve housing conditions and tackle problems associated with anti-social behaviour, although another councillor pointed out that the extra costs of the scheme would be '�charged back' to the tenants via higher rents.

Targeted approach

Others argued during the meeting that a more targeted approach to rogue or criminal landlords would be better than a '�blanket approach' via an extended selective licencing scheme.

This will compel landlords to take action to deal with anti-social behaviour and it will incorporate housing inspections and enforcement action.

Middlesborough council says a similar scheme in Ormsby had seen a substantial reduction in anti-social behaviour since it was introduced in 2016.

The NRLA's chief executive Ben Beadle has previously criticised selective schemes, saying instead councils should, ''rather than penalising good landlords with a blanket policy'�use the range of data already available to them to find and root out the minority of landlords who fail  to provide safe housing'�.

Picture credit: YouTube.

Read a guide to landlord licencing.

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