New clampdown on rogue landlords in Blackpool
A licensing scheme is a step closer to being adopted in central Blackpool in a bid to crack down on badly managed flats which attract unruly tenants.
Councillors have approved a revised selective licensing arrangement which will force rogue landlords to uprade their properties.
It is hoped this will help break the cycle of cheap, badly managed accommodation which takes advantage of vulnerable people.
The scheme will cover most of Talbot ward and parts of Brunswick and Bloomfield ward.
A report to the council's executive committee, which approved the proposal, says: "Selective licensing is a key component of the council's approach to address issues commonly occurring as a result of poor quality, privately rented accommodation.
"It will improve management, reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour arising from privately rented homes and help improve the quality of life for local residents."
Consultation held earlier this year in the central area found 75 per cent of respondents supported selective licensing and 69 per cent said they thought landlords were not managing their properties properly.
Approximately 350 HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) are already covered by an additional licensing scheme leaving around 2,300 private rented properties in the area.
Part of the scheme will be to introduce a Blackpool Standard which will be awarded to landlords whose properties exceed minimum standards. They will qualify for a 30 per cent reduction in licence fees.
The licence fee will also fund two dedicated anti-social behaviour officers for the central area.
The revised proposal replaces a previous scheme which was shelved last year.
The scheme must now go to the Secretary of State for final confirmation.
Blackpool Council has already operated selective licensing schemes in South Beach and Claremont.