Blackpool landlords will need licences in future
A scheme to improve the quality of homes in central Blackpool has been approved by the Government.
Blackpool Council's selective licensing scheme covering private rented accommodation in the town centre has been officially approved by the Secretary of State for Housing.
All landlords within the designated area will have to pay for an annual licence requiring them to take more responsibility for the behaviour of their tenants and ensure their properties reach certain standards.
It is hoped this will stamp out yobbish behaviour which has blighted parts of the holiday area, with some hoteliers saying this has damaged their trade.
Coun Christine Wright, Blackpool Council cabinet member for housing, said: “We want to combat anti-social behaviour and improve housing conditions across the town, and this scheme will give the council stronger powers to deal with problematic tenants.
“We recognise many landlords provide accommodation beyond the minimum standards but unfortunately, there are many properties that fall below acceptable standards.
“One of the most basic human rights is that everybody deserves a clean and safe area to live and if landlords aren’t delivering that then we won’t hesitate to bring forward enforcement action.
“We hope that this will be a positive move for responsible landlords, as cleaning up the local area should improve the attractiveness of their property and help them to find better tenants.”
But some landlords remain disappointed by the scheme.
Blackpool landlord Stuart King said: "I had hoped the council would come up with a more innovative scheme, for example allowing landlords to pay monthly instead of yearly and with the money going into schemes such as energy efficiency and tidying up the area.
"I think the council has missed an opportunity to have a greater impact on the area, and I don't think there is a proven track record for selective licensing."
A survey showed 75 per cent of respondents backed the scheme, and 88 per cent felt private landlords should be responsible for dealing with their nuisance tenants.
Selective licensing already operates in Claremont, and has previously operated in South Beach.