Plans to improve private sector housing standards in two areas of Stockton-on-Tees will be considered by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet on Thursday (12 July).
Councillors will consider proposals to introduce Selective Licensing of private rented housing within Central Stockton and North Thornaby.
If councillors agree to pursue the scheme a consultation on the proposals will begin at the end of July.
Why is a Selective Licensing scheme being proposed?
In November, Cabinet agreed to support a ‘targeted action area’ based approach in these areas, with the aim of tackling issues associated with poor property management by some private sector landlords. This approach would see the council provide a visible neighbourhood management presence, working alongside partners and the local community to identify and address issues. At the heart of this approach is a proposal to introduce a Selective Licensing Scheme.
What is Selective Licensing?
Under the scheme private landlords within designated areas in Central Stockton and North Thornaby will be legally required to get a licence from the Council for each property that they rent out. The licence will have conditions attached to ensure properties are safe and well-managed. Failure to obtain a licence when a property is let could lead to an unlimited fine or a Civil Penalty up to £30,000.
What benefits will it bring for landlords, residents and local communities?
The Council proposes to use selective licensing as a tool alongside a range of other measures to help raise standards in the private rented sector, address low housing demand and achieve a more balanced housing market. It will help tackle rogue landlords and will also bring a wide range of positive benefits for tenants, responsible landlords and the wider community.
What do councillors think?
Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “While private rented housing can provide a valuable housing offer, properties which are poorly managed can bring with them a range of challenges.
“Both Central Stockton and North Thornaby have high concentrations of private rented housing and suffer from low housing demand. Residents tell us that they are concerned about higher than average levels of crime, anti-social behaviour and a high number of vacant properties.
“We want to introduce Selective Licensing because we want to take a robust stance to improve standards. We believe it will greatly help us improve the areas concerned and will bring lasting benefits for all - the landlords, residents and the wider local community.”