Consultation to expand a city’s selective licensing begins

Consultation to expand a city’s selective licensing begins

8:03 AM, 7th October 2022, About 2 years ago

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Landlords and the public are being urged to take part in a consultation that would see the extension of a city’s selective licensing scheme.

There are currently seven areas with licensing in operation, but this would extend to eight new areas in five council wards.

Landlords would have to pay £800 – which is broken down into a grant fee and an application fee.

In a report by Manchester City Council, councillors were told that the consultation would cost up to £85,000 to carry out – but this cost would be fully funded by revenue generated by the licence fee.

The council says there are 75,000 private rented homes that account for 38% of the city’s total housing and that standards vary.

‘Many PRS properties provide good quality accommodation’

The licensing proposals highlight: “We know that many PRS properties provide good quality accommodation, however, there are areas of Manchester where PRS properties are not managed to a good standard.

“We work with teams across Community Safety, Compliance and Enforcement regularly and work with landlords in the private rented sector in dealing with complaints about anti-social behaviour, poor property management, waste issues and proactively work to remove any concerns in these areas.

“Despite this, we have not seen sustained improvements in areas unless additional interventions are introduced. Enforcement against individual properties alone will not improve standards to the level required across each area.

“Manchester has previously had an accreditation scheme, and we have considered voluntary accreditation as part of our work in Manchester. However, our experience is that these schemes inevitably attract landlords who are already providing a good service to their tenants and do little to engage or improve the property conditions of those landlords who are not.

“The Council has the power to introduce ‘selective licensing schemes’ in areas of Manchester. In these areas private landlords, or their managing agents, would need to have a licence for each house that they rent out. There are approximately 3,200 private rented properties in the current selective licensing schemes and the proposed selective licensing schemes would affect 1,100 private rented properties.”

The selective licensing areas

The areas that could see selective licensing being introduced are:

  • Cheetham
  • Levenshulme
  • Longsight
  • Moss Side and Whalley Range
  • Rusholme.

The licensing scheme will, the council says, ensure that:

  • The proposed licence holder is fit and proper to manage their properties
  • The licence holder complies with the conditions of the licence, leading to improvements in property management and reductions in anti-social behaviour
  • Property inspections can be targeted
  • Landlords provide necessary certification
  • Unlicensed landlords can face an unlimited fine if prosecuted through the courts, or up to £30,000 if issued by the council.

The public consultation closes on 14 December with the new licensing scheme set to begin in Spring next year.

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