Salford Council in Greater Manchester has recently closed their consultation for a Selective Licensing scheme in Barton & Eccles. As always, the RLA has responded to claims made by the Council and hope that the views of the Association and local landlords will be taken into serious consideration.
Salford council is hoping to bring implement Selective Licensing in a bid to tackle problems within the private rented sector (PRS). Specifically, the council emphasised the growing number of privately rented homes in the Barton & Eccles area, with perceived increases in anti-social behaviour (ASB), empty properties, and property management/conditions.
At best, these items provide a tenuous foundation on which to build an argument for the need of Selective Licensing scheme in the area as the problems appear to be blown out of proportion. The arguments were then completely undermined by the Council by stating that campaigns already in place to tackle empty properties – arguably the second most prominent claim for the scheme – have enjoyed year on year success.
The RLA challenge this rationale. If there is a scheme in place, already achieving goals the council has, what need is there for additional burdens on landlords? More analysis can be found in the RLA response document:
ASB, predictably, features heavily in the Council’s reasoning for proposing the scheme. A House of Commons Library standard note: Anti-social behaviour in private housing suggests that landlords are not responsible for their tenants’ behaviour and that Selective Licensing schemes are ineffective at reducing incidents of ASB.
The RLA acknowledges that landlords should be expected to conform to legal requirements when providing accommodation, but feel that the Council have not considered the ramifications the scheme may have on the area.