There have been angry scenes at a consultation meeting as a local authority seeks to extend its licensing scheme - thought to be one of the most expensive in England.
A landlord who attended one of the consultation meetings organised by Blackpool council said some 40 to 50 landlords were present and unanimously slated the extension proposal as unfair.
“The overwhelming cry from the floor, in what was a very straight talking meeting, was the council has enough resources and legislation to tackle problem properties, even engaging with the police to use the powers of the criminal law.
“Why should responsible landlords, who keep their properties immaculate and engage with good and responsible tenants, subsidise the problem few who should be targetted individually, not lump the problem onto everyone else” the landlord is quoted as telling the Blackpool Gazette.
Blackpool, despite having some of the least expensive homes to buy in England, has a local authority seeking to extend one of the country’s dearest licensing schemes for properties in the private rental sector. It is thought a five year licence could cost as much as £940, although there is a proposal for ‘early bird’ reductions.
A scheme to licence HMOs was first introduced to the South Beach area from 2012; now the council wants it to include the town centre from early next year.
A statement from the council says the move “is designed to reduce anti-social behaviour which is often linked to poorly managed properties. It also helps to identify poor quality and unsafe homes and given the council the opportunity to enforce improvements.”
Around 5,760 properties in total fall within the area, of which 2,702 would be subject to Selective Licensing.