Selective Licensing will increase costs for tenants living in South Yorkshire ?
It has come to our attention there is growing concern that the introduction of Selective Licensing will increase the cost of living for tenants residing in rented housing across South Yorkshire.
The Doncaster Selective Licensing consultation came to an end on 11th July, where the council are proposing a fee of £515 for each rented property.
Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. A designation can last up to five years.
As part of the licence, the holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself. Doncaster Council have proposed over 22 additional conditions that landlords would have to comply with if this consultation is successful, which range from how refuse and waste must be dealt, alley gates must be managed, and energy efficiency. These conditions can be found under ‘Downloads & Resources’ on the page here, entitled ‘SL Licensing Conditions’.
Concerns centre around the fear that some landlords will pass the costs of the licence through to the tenants and that tenants and landlords will have increased cost with very little improvement in the community. Furthermore, an increase in costs for renting property in Doncaster would affect the accessibility of rented property for many low income families and individuals.
Landlords in Rotherham have also predicted that rents and eviction numbers will rise significantly, as Barnsley Council is set to follow Rotherham’s lead by introducing SL in four areas.
Goldthorpe and Wombwell are on the list, as are Elsecar and Measbrough Dyke.
The council said the scheme was “being explored as an option to help reduce antisocial behaviour and improve privately rented housing standards”.
But Barnsley Residential Landlords Association is opposing the plans, saying they amounted to the introduction of a “stealth tax”, and has sent leaflets urging tenants and landlords to oppose the plans.
A public facebook group has also been set up; Goldthorpe Against Selective Licensing where they have set up a poll asking: Do you think that Barnsley Council should implement Selective Licensing in Goldthorpe? Please click here to take part.
Consultation on the move is now open online and a series of events are being held to allow people to give their views in person.
Among them are drop-in events at Wombwell Library from 2pm to 6.30pm on Thursday, August 17, and at Goldthorpe Library from 3pm to 7.30pm on Monday, August 21. Consultation remains open until September 24.
You can join in the consultation online at www.barnsley.gov.uk/selectivelicensing until September 24.
Got something to say? What are your views on Selective Licensing schemes? Please click here to get involved in the live discussion now!