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Northern council green lights £653 selective licencing scheme


Stockton on Tees councillors have given the green light to a new selective licensing scheme covering three areas of the borough.

Following a consultation earlier this year, all private landlords with homes in Central Stockton, Newtown and Thornaby will need a five-year licence, with a proposed fee of £653 for each property. A launch date this summer is set to be confirmed.

The council reports that across the three areas, 62% of all residents who responded to the consultation were in favour of the plans.

Councillor Nigel Cooke (pictured), member for regeneration and housing, says Central Stockton and North Thornaby were chosen as they are areas of low housing demand and have high concentrations of private rented properties.

National average

“In North Thornaby, 41% of properties are privately rented and this figure is even higher in Central Stockton at 50%,” he adds. “This is way above the national average of 20.3% and in addition to 10% of properties standing empty in Central Stockton and 11% in North Thornaby.

“In Newtown, as well as having a high proportion of properties privately rented, there are also high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour which the scheme can help address.”

Some landlords in Stockton on Tees are already part of the voluntary PLuSS scheme, which was set up in October 2019 as an alternative to selective licensing, with applications processed by the council. Members must stick to a code of conduct, which was developed and agreed by landlords and the council.

However, the council has said that poor landlords are unlikely to join or be accepted as members, which is why it is taking the mandatory approach – a move that has angered some landlords who have reportedly threatened to sell up.

The Government has said it will examine claims that its looming Property Portal for landlords will in effect replace the need for selective licencing.


Selective licensing