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Blackpool selective licensing scheme could force up rents

Samantha Watkin
Written by Samantha Watkin

Plans to introduce selective licensing in parts of Blackpool could force up rents – and the RLA writing to the council to object to the plans.

The RLA has concerns over the council’s draft application requirements and the draft licensing conditions for its Selective licensing scheme, proposed in three areas of the town; Talbot, Brunswick and Bloomfield.

Proposed licence cost

The council has proposed a standard licensing fee of £775, with the £100 Early Bird discount fee if landlords applied with the first three months.

The believes that a £775 fee for a five-year licence is an unnecessary financial burden to put on landlords, even with the discount.

The consultation response, which can be read here states one of the main jurisdictions from introducing such a scheme is due to: “The vision from Blackpool Council’s Plan 2010-2015 is to be the UK’s number one family resort with a thriving economy that supports a happy and proud community. In order to make this vision a reality Blackpool news to overcome core challenges. Selective Licensing supports Priority 1 of Blackpool Council’s Plan-The economy: Maximising growth and opportunity across Blackpool”.

Monthly inspections

There are also concerns about the strict conditions the local authority would impose on landlords. There are:

  • Council officers only providing 24 hours’ notice to landlords when an inspection is carried out
  • Requirement for monthly inspections to properties
  • Landlords would have to produce an annual written report for Blackpool Council, which would outline how a landlord deals with anti-social behaviour.

Such proposals have been labelled as excessive, unlawful and harmful to landlords by the RLA.

It goes on to state that there is little evidence that licensing schemes improve housing standards. This is because the focus of staff becomes the processing and issue of licences, while prosecutions centre on whether a property is licensed or not, rather than improving management standards and property conditions.

The RLA is opposed Selective Licensing, because fears good landlords who apply for licences will have no choice but to pass the costs on to tenants in the form of increased rents, doing nothing to address affordability, while the criminal operators will simply ignore the scheme, as they do many other regulations.

Full details of these objections are explained in this letter

Learn more

About the author

Samantha Watkin

Samantha Watkin

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