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Licensing to print money? One of UK’s largest schemes launched

A new and huge private rental licensing scheme has launched in County Durham.

A total of at least 29,000 properties, or 42 per cent of the private rented sector in the county, is covered by the scheme, which was approved by the government in November 2021.

A council statement claims: “The scheme helps to create long-term, sustainable neighbourhoods by ensuring that any privately rented properties are well managed and in good condition. It will also protect both residents and tenants alike by tackling landlords who do not comply. 


“Landlords must apply for a licence and ensure their management practices and properties meet standards set out by the scheme. It promotes good management and maintenance by landlords and will see rental properties regularly inspected by the council. 

“Landlords will be required to make repairs and improvements that have been identified as part of inspections and failure to comply will result in enforcement action being taken.”

Five year licences cost up to £500 with some early bird and accreditation discounts making some £350 per licence.  


Councillor James Rowlandson says: "We're pleased to have launched this scheme in County Durham, encouraging landlords to manage their properties and tenancies responsibly.

"It is a key objective of the County Durham Housing Strategy and will raise the standards of private rented properties across our area. It will also improve the health and wellbeing of tenants as well as reduce anti-social behaviour in our communities. 

"The scheme is also about enabling us to better support landlords so that they can give the best service possible to their tenants and holding those who fail to meet the required standard to account." 

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    • J T
    • 27 April 2022 17:02 PM

    Is there any real evidence apart from maybe in Walthamstow, that proves these selective schemes make a blind bit of difference? I've not seen much evidence in Wales, Scotland or any selective licensing authority in England that there has been any improvement in anti-social behaviour or property standards as a result of these schemes.

    We have properties in a lot of them and all the schemes are different so it's a real pain as the costs, systems and requirements are different in each area. If we're going to do this, at least make it a nationwide scheme so that it is more efficient. Just at a basic system level, how much money has been wasted developing a separate online system in each borough?

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    It is just another means for Councils to raise money ! It is the Tenants that have lost out, because Landlords have been forced to raise rents to compensate for all of the extra expenses due to Selective Licensing. Rents are considerably higher now resulting from this.


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