A big South East counciil hopes to introduce a big selective licencing scheme for private landlords which would cover all PRS homes.
Medway, which is a unitary authority covering a large swathe of Kent including Rochester and Gillingham, has seen those renting in the private rented sector increase over the past decade from 17% to 20% of all households.
The latest meeting of its Cabinet has now agreed to spend �50,000 looking licencing which it says would tackle poor property conditions within its borders as well as anti-social behaviour, poor housing quality and deprivation.
The meeting heard that the council will take a stick and carrot approach to the scheme, using both enforcement to fine landlords who do not sign up to the scheme or maintain their properties at minimum standards, but also offer them help and advice on how to upgrade properties.
But like all such schemes, Medway will have to consult local landlords and letting agents on its plans before they can be implemented, or face legal challenges, as has happened elsewhere in the UK on several occasions, most famously in 2014 when Enfield's scheme was quashed in the High Court.
Medway has yet to decide how big its scheme will be '� since 2016 all schemes that exceed 20% of a council's geographical area or more than 20% of its privately rented homes must be signed off by the Secretary of State.
Cllr Naushabah Khan (pictured), Medway Council's Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property, said: 'This is a really positive step towards addressing some of the challenges residents are facing with private rented properties.
'We want everyone in Medway to be able to live in properties which are maintained to a high standard.
'We also recognise the challenges that landlords face and part of these new measures, if introduced, would include advice for landlords.'�