Middlesborough Council has launched a consultation into plans to extend a selective licensing scheme in parts of its Newport ward.
The authority says schemes in North Ormesby and Newport wards have led to great improvements which it believes will be further boosted by a new scheme that aims to improve PRS property standards and social and economic conditions.
Under the proposals, landlords will need a plan in place to tackle anti-social tenants. The council has promised to provide advice and guidance on the conditions needed to get and keep a licence as well as supporting them to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve their management through training and hands-on help.
Its report explains that Newport (main picture) is experiencing major challenges associated with social and economic decline.
It says: “Although Newport may not always be recognised as the most disadvantaged area against every measure, the rate of its decline, its vulnerability in terms of crime, social isolation, and the impact of welfare reform provides a particularly compelling picture of chronic need, especially in conjunction with the apparent housing market failure. If this is not addressed, the decline could threaten the long-term stability of the area.”
A £998 licensing fee has been suggested, although applications for licences in the last 12 months of the designation will be eligible for a reduced fee of 50% of the second payment, where properties have not been licensable prior to the 12-month deadline.
Middlesborough says the scheme could potentially be implemented in other areas suffering similar problems to Newport. The consultation runs until 12th March.