Landlords have warned they may have to increase rents to meet the costs of a new licensing scheme in central Blackpool.
The fears were raised at a meeting held at the Salvation Army Citadel on Raikes Parade as part of consultation by the council which wants to introduce selective licensing into the town centre.
Some 40 to 50 landlords attended the meeting and unanimously slated the proposals put forward
Selective Licensing requires all private landlords in a particular area have a licence, with five-yearly fees of up to £940 for a property with up to five dwellings. It is aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour by ensuring responsible tenancy agreements.
But Blackpool landlord Bob Jackson, who attended Monday’s meeting, branded the scheme, which is already in place in South Shore and Claremont, unfair.
He said: “Some 40 to 50 landlords attended the meeting and unanimously slated the proposals put forward
“The overwhelming cry from the floor, in what was a very straight talking meeting, was the council has enough resources and legislation to tackle problem properties, even engaging with the police to use the powers of the criminal law.
“Why should responsible landlords, who keep their properties immaculate and engage with good and responsible tenants, subsidise the problem few who should be targetted individually, not lump the problem onto everyone else.”
Mr Jackson added: “The landlords indicated that schemes already in existence have not worked and the scheme will, due to recent tax changes reduce any profit margin for good landlords, and only cause landlords to pass on the cost by an increase in rents to innocent tenants.
“The final hurrah was when it was disclosed that the council had excluded its own properties from paying into the scheme and also excluded registered social landlords.”
But the council defended the scheme which it says is raising housing standards
Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Selective Licensing has been nationally recognised as having had an enormous impact in Blackpool in helping us to raise housing standards, identify and solve problems in the community and, ultimately, tackle anti-social behaviour. As such, we want to continue that good work by rolling out the scheme to the town centre.
“We are holding consultation events about the proposals for anyone with an interest to learn more.
“We will take all the views put forward in those events into account before making a final decision.”