Landlord licensing has gone live in the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough bringing the total number of towns and cities to introduce schemes over the past two years to over 35 local authorities.
This includes areas in major cities including London, Manchester and Newcastle as well as many towns including Scarborough.
Its town council now requires landlords of rented properties to apply for a licence, covering 58 streets in the centre of the town between its two main beaches. The scheme is to last five years before being reviewed.
Landlords will pay a standard fee of £550 per property for single-family homes, and for HMOs an additional £100 will be charged per household living in the property, up to a maximum of £1,550.
Landlords who fail to apply for a licence face fines of up to £20,000 while those who breach licence conditions will be fined up to £5,000 per offence.
“Any landlord, managing agent or tenant within the designation area should seek advice from the Authority to ascertain whether their property is affected by the designation,” the council says.
Scarborough’s landlords must meet a range of conditions including a current gas safety certificate, working smoke alarms, safe electrical appliances, properly-drafted tenancy agreements and appropriate management arrangement to deal with antisocial behaviour.
“Many landlords are very good at ensuring their properties comply with all the necessary regulations and they take pride in providing safe and comfortable homes,” says Councillor Bill Chatt (pictured, left).
“However, far too often, tenants are being badly let down and their lives negatively affected by irresponsible and neglectful landlords.”
The Scarborough green light follows two other borough which earlier this month launched schemes including Luton and Tower Hamlets, the latter of which launched a ‘charter’ rather than a full-blown licensing scheme.
What’s the back story?
Selective licensing was introduced by Labour housing minister John Healey in 2010 and was the hot topic that year following a long consultation that attracted 900 responses.
“I am giving councils more local powers to crack down on the worst landlords and stop the spread of high concentrations of shared homes where it causes problems for other residents or changes the character of a neighbourhood,” he said at the time.
Selective licensing introduced over past two years.
Telford & Wrekin
Hammersmith & Fulham
Weston super Mare