A major local authority is likely to decide against a compulsory landlord licensing scheme, saying it is not the answer, according to Landlord Today.
Instead, Bournemouth Council intends to use existing powers to hold failing landlords to account, and prosecute them.
The proposal was rejected by the council’s adult and community overview and scrutiny panel, following consultation with the RLA and other relevant organisations.
The panel’s report noted, “The evidence indicates that the area may not justify the designation of an additional licensing scheme due to the proportion of HMOs about which complaints have been received. Additional Licensing does have limitations, such as; it cannot be used to tackle letting boards or bins on pavements, or parking issues, all of which are high on the list of residents concerns. Whilst licence conditions can require a landlord to include a code of conduct for tenants in their tenancy agreement, it may not prevent one-off incidents of ASB [anti-social behaviour].”
Instead, the panel favours working closely with landlords, and encouraging them to join a voluntary accreditation scheme, with a code of conduct; whilst stepping up enforcement policies against failing landlords, with the help of a new public, phone hotline.
Cllr. Rob Lawton, housing portfolio holder, said: “Make no mistake – if a landlord does not comply with legislation the council will prosecute them.”
Council leader Cllr. John Beesley said: “I thought licensing was the answer, but lessons from other local authorities are invaluable. We want to get it right and tackle as many problems as we can. Working with other bodies is the absolute key.”
Bournemouth’s decision comes as other local authorities, such as Salford, wrestle with the idea of implementing inadequate licensing legislation.
The scrutiny panel’s recommendations are set to be ratified by the council’s cabinet on the 20th November.