Peterborough council has claimed that selective licensing schemes compel more landlords to switch from self-managing their properties to using a letting agent.
The claim was made this week at the meeting of a scrutiny committee looking at the success of Peterborough’s large selective licensing scheme which is due to end in October.
A new scheme is to be submitted to the secretary of state for approval, which may include more wards than the original scheme following calls for the scheme to be expanded
So far 6,500 licences have been issued to private landlords and 227 properties inspected but with a further 551 due to be inspected including 180 that the council suspects don’t have licences.
Peterborough council has also prosecuted 15 landlords for non-compliance with the selective licensing scheme regulations, it was revealed.
Jo Bezant, a prevention and enforcement service manager for housing, told councillors at the meeting that most private landlords the council contacted to chase them up on getting a licence, then applied for a licence.
Bezant added: “It’s gone really, really well. What we’ve found has happened is landlords that didn’t know what they were doing – they had one property or two properties – a lot of those have moved and given their properties to agents so the agents manage them,” the Peterborough Telegraph reports.
“So we’ve seen a rise in professionalism of landlords through the management of the properties. And also a lot of landlords went on and did their own accreditation – so went off and became educated in what they should be doing and their legal responsibilities.”
The main reason for non-compliance was from landlords who did not believe the council would take enforcement action, she added.