Landlords scheme must be reviewed

A licensing scheme for town centre landlords in Blackpool must go back to the drawing board.

Friday, 29th September 2017, 4:43 pm
Updated Friday, 29th September 2017, 5:21 pm
Coun Christine Wright

Selective licensing has proved successful in driving up standards of accommodation in other parts of the resort.

Coun Christine Wright, cabinet member for housing, said: “After working with landlords, we proposed to do things differently and introduce co-regulation so selective licensing is more effective by working positively withresponsible landlords, and there is an independent body to oversee the scheme.

“However, the Government has made it clear co-regulation is not their preferred method of enforcing selective licensing and has asked us to come up with a new way of managing licensed properties.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We will now speak to landlords again to come up with revised proposals.”

Ashley Dribben, of the Fylde Coast Landlord’s Forum, said landlords were prepared to work with the council.

He said: “Although we as private landlords aren’t in favour of paying out £700 for a licence, we do accept the fact this needs to be a regulated industry.

“Unfortunately there are a number of slum landlords and equally bad letting agents who will struggle to continue operating in this manner under selective licensing.

“We are in talks with Blackpool Council to come up the most cost-effective method of licensing and also, most importantly, the method which assists good and pro-active landlords to ensure they not only attract the right clientele but also raise the standard in the area, long term.”

But not all landlords are happy with selective licensing.

Robert Jackson, who rents out property in the town centre, said: “The last consultation was started in mid 2015 and has only been decided to be withdrawn now, two years on.

“The Blackpool ratepayer, especially private landlords, are in no mood to go through and pay for the whole process again, and I would encourage the council to shelve it as soon as possible.”