Leicester is the latest council to begin consultations on selective licensing in six parts of the city - with the threat that other locations could be considered in future.
It has launched a public survey on selective licensing in the six areas, with the claim that the initiative “would help safeguard would-be tenants, who would know their landlord is correctly licenced to operate” and “would also help finance action to tackle ongoing problems of antisocial behaviour.”
The proposed scheme would cover about 20 per cent of the city’s private rented sector - so future schemes extending beyond that limit would need to be confirmed by the Secretary of State.
Leicester’s assistant city mayor for housing, councillor Andy Connelly, says: “It could prove particularly useful in areas with high numbers of rented properties, as well as places suffering wider problems such as antisocial behaviour or crime in which landlords have failed to take action which could remedy a situation.
“In running this public survey we want to get an idea of whether residents want us to take such an approach, and whether it would help safeguard tenants across the city.”
If the scheme goes ahead it will be implemented late in 2020.
Meanwhile in Dorset, licensing is also being considered for landlords who have properties in or near the town centre of Weymouth - specifically in the Melcombe Regis ward.
“The scheme would aim to address levels of deprivation experienced by many tenants in the area through improving the way housing is managed” says a council statement.
Councillor Gill Taylor adds: “We have a some really good landlords in Weymouth but we also have some who are not so good. Poor housing affects people’s physical and mental health. Everyone who rents should be able to live in a decent home. This is why we are considering introducing this scheme to improve housing standards. I believe that good landlords will support this scheme, as will tenants.”
However, a comment on the Weymouth and Portland council website says: “Most properties are now let through agencies. It involves quite a lot of red tape I can see no reason to license landlords. It seems yet another way to take away individual rights, complicate issues and cost the landlord more money. If you make it harder for landlords to rent their property there will be even more people on the streets. As people will stop renting out. Most rentals in this area are up to a good standard.”
The council responded to the comment by telling the individual to complete a consultation form.