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Consultations launched over licensing privately-rented properties

Residents, landlords and businesses in Charnwood are being asked to give their views on two proposed licensing schemes.
 
The borough Council is proposing to introduce two different licensing schemes for private landlords. The aim is to improve the quality of privately-rented accommodation and reduce its impact on the local community.
 
One licensing scheme is for any house in multiple occupation (HMO) which does not already hold a mandatory licence; the other focuses on privately-rented accommodation within a designated area and aims to improve standards.
 
Additional Licensing will require HMO landlords not covered by the mandatory scheme to apply for a licence. This scheme will cover all HMOs occupied by three or four unrelated persons and buildings converted into self-contained flats where they are occupied by tenants.
 
The second proposed scheme is Selective Licensing which requires all landlords operating within a designated area to licence their property. The Council is looking initially to introduce this scheme in the Hastings and Lemyngton wards in Loughborough.
 
There will be a range of conditions attached to each of the proposed licences which will last for five years.
 
Landlords will be responsible for paying for the licence and any income generated from the fees will only be used to cover the scheme’s running costs.
 
The online consultations are now open and will run until 23 October.
 
Cllr Paul Mercer, lead member for private housing said: “We have a lot of good landlords in and across Charnwood who understand their responsibilities and care about their tenants but there are also some properties which are of poor quality and badly managed. They can have an adverse impact on the local neighbourhood, with issues such as anti-social behaviour, higher levels of crime and lowering demand for housing.
 
“The proposed licensing schemes will be looking to address these issues and ensure landlords meet the conditions of the licences.
 
“I would encourage residents, landlords and local businesses to read the draft policy documents and give their views in the online survey.”
 
Councils can introduce licensing under the Housing Act 2004, to address issues including poor property conditions, significant anti-social behaviour, migration, high levels of deprivation or high levels of crime.
 
For more information about each proposed scheme and to take part in the online consultation visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/pslc.
 
Following the consultations, Cabinet will consider whether to adopt the proposed licensing schemes in December.