Sandwell Council have concluded their consultation on proposals to implement Selective Licensing with a decision to not move ahead with the scheme. Private landlords will be pleased with this news, but should continue to ensure professional service, proper care of properties, and to be aware of future efforts by the council.
Sandwell Council state in their press release: “The move comes after a consultation on a proposed selective licensing scheme for private landlords not taking appropriate action to resolve problems.”
Councillor Ian Jones has said a different scheme of enforcement may come in place of the failed Selective Licensing scheme:
“We don’t have enough evidence to implement a selective licensing scheme on these conditions here in Sandwell.”
“There are a lot of good private landlords in Sandwell who recognise their responsibilities and care about their tenants – but we need to do more to deal with the minority who don’t.”
“We’ll start with a pilot area…and focus on enforcement action against landlords who keep homes in a poor state of repair and working with partner organisations to tackle issues…”
You can read Councillor Jones’s comments in the Sandwell Council press release: New bid to tackle irresponsible landlords.
This comes as no surprise to those actually involved with private renting. Why are landlords supposed to be responsible for tenants acting in an anti-social manner? In the RLA response to the consultation document “RLA response: Sandwell Selective Licensing proposals” section two clearly outlines that “Selective Licensing is ineffective at reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB)”.
A House of Commons briefing paper: “Anti-social behaviour in private housing – Commons Library Standard Note” which suggests that landlords are not responsible for the behaviour of their tenants. Yet still, the majority of Councils proposing Selective Licensing schemes use ASB as the basis of their proposals.