Council scheme branded ‘human rights breach’

Landlord Chris Wiseman, owner of the Thistle Apartments on Withnell Road South Shore with his wifeTeresa.

Landlord Chris Wiseman, owner of the Thistle Apartments on Withnell Road South Shore with his wifeTeresa.

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A LANDLORD claims a new licensing scheme aimed at stamping out anti-social behaviour is a breach of human rights.

Chris Wiseman, who rents flats on Withnell Road, South Shore, is campaigning against Blackpool Council’s selective licensing scheme, which means private landlords have to comply with tough new rules.

The 64-year-old, who would have to pay £935 to have the licence for five years, said: “There is no connection between paying a substantial licence fee and correcting anti-social behaviour.

“Anti-social behaviour can occur not only from those living in private landlord operated premises but also from those who live in council and housing association houses – yet these are exempt from the licence.

“This means private landlords, a minority group in the community, are being selectively penalised for the ills of the whole of society. They have made a grave mistake to penalise private landlords and not any other landlords, they are contravening human rights which states you are not supposed to penalise a minority group where it is not that specific group’s problem.”

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The scheme, being piloted in the South Beach area, means licence holders have to comply with conditions relating to property management, fire safety and anti-social behaviour.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said the scheme went through a full legal and consultation process. He said: “The scheme is lawful. I passionately believe the selective licensing scheme has the potential to revolutionise housing provision and fully endorse it.

“The yields enjoyed by private landlords in Blackpool are considerable, and the fee is negligible by comparison, and I look forward to rolling it out across the entire town over the next five years.”

Anyone who would like to contact Mr Wiseman about his campaign can e-mail: landlordshaverightstoo@yahoo.co.uk

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