Salford has approved proposals for a selective licensing scheme for Langworthy, Weaste and Seedley.
Despite delaying the decision for over month, to consider ‘outcomes’ and ‘exit strategies’, the scheme was approved yesterday with no clear objectives for the scheme seemingly in place.
Instead, Salford promised to implement a number of discounts for compliant landlords and establish an ‘Engagement Group’ which will meet, “…to support the effective implementation of the scheme and shape its development.”
The decision by Salford comes just a month after the council revealed that the previous scheme, which lapsed in May, had lost £239,533 during its five-year cycle; with further undisclosed costs for senior management support, enforcement action and Land Registry searches.
During the same period, Salford refused just five landlord licences, and revoked a further 73 licences. However, the council refused to say on what grounds the licences had been revoked, and whether or not this figure included individuals who had simply sold their properties and left the private rented sector.
Speaking in response to Salford’s decision, Chris Town, vice chairman of the Residential Landlords’ Association, said, “The RLA is extremely disappointed with this decision. We are not satisfied that there is a strong case for this selective licensing scheme. Other local authorities such as Manchester, Leeds and Bournemouth have rejected selective licensing and are now looking at alternative methods of raising housing standards, particularly greater promotion of accreditation schemes and improved enforcement. Selective licensing simply does not work and is the legislative equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”