Licences and council inspections part of plans to crackdown on rogue Leeds landlords
Inspections of privately rented properties in Leeds and the enforcement of stringent regulations could soon be paid for by landlords.
Leeds City Council is exploring plans to launch a ‘selective licensing’ scheme in Harehills and Beeston Hill, which would require private landlords to apply for a licence to run each of their properties.
It would also require them to pay a licensing fee, allow each property to be inspected by the council and meet various licensing conditions by maintaining them to a certain standard.
Landlords who failed to obtain a licence or breach the conditions could then be prosecuted and fined.
The council, which has raised concerns about the private rented sector in Leeds, would have to pay to set up the scheme. But it would then be run on revenue generated by the licensing fees.
Its executive board approved plans to asses the viability of the scheme and draw up a business case, at a meeting on Wednesday, February 7.
Cllr Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said the scheme would be “self funding” and “targeting the areas of most need”.
She added: “The aim would be to improve conditions and the quality of the private rented sector properties that we have in these areas.”
In a report about the scheme, the council states it has concerns about the private rented sector and this selective licensing scheme could “bring about significant improvements to property conditions and the way they are managed.”
It states: “Whilst the expansion of the sector has been seen in all markets it has its most adverse effects in the inner areas of the city. In some parts of the inner city, it is now the main housing tenure with some areas having over 50 per cent privately rented.
“This has had an impact on some areas leading to increased issues such as poor environmental quality, high turnover, changes in communities, increases in poor quality accommodation offered, poor management of the sector by some landlords, and a lack of affordability for families and individuals when looking for a home.”
Selective licensing schemes are currently run by a number of areas including Liverpool, Oldham, Durham and Croydon.