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Selective landlord licensing consultation

Consultation on proposed landlord licensing areas

The landlord licensing scheme has successfully improved neighbourhoods within Gateshead since 2007.  We want to improve neighbourhoods by possibly introducing further licensing schemes. Before we decide, we need to get the views of everyone affected.

Consultation is until 11 June 2017 on proposals to introduce selective landlord licensing for:

  • The Avenues, implementation from 2018-19
  • parts of Central Bensham, implementation from late 2017. 

 How you can tell us your views?

You can tell us your views in any of the following ways:

  1. All residents and landlords in the proposed areas have been sent a questionnaire. Fill in the questionnaire and send it back to us in the prepaid envelope by 11 June 2017
  2. Complete the questionnaire online at www.gateshead.gov.uk/bensham for residents and www.gateshead.gov.uk/landlords for landlords by 11 June 2017.
  3. Give us a ring on 0191 4332519/2793
  4. Email us at privatesectorhousingcivic@gatehsead.gov.uk
  5. Come along to one of our meetings or events to be listed below. 

Come and meet the Licensing Team

We are holding a consultation event for residents, landlords and other interested parties on our proposals:

For landlords

5 April 2017 and 3 May 2017 - 5pm and 7pm

Lamesley Room, Ground Floor, Civic Centre, NE8 1HH

For residents and other interested parties

6 April 2017 4-7pm

St Chads Community Hall, Liddell Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 1YN

9 May 2017 4-7pm

Room 1, First Floor, Gateshead Leisure Centre, Alexandra Road, NE8 4JA

You are welcome to attend and share your views.

What is Selective Landlord Licensing?

Selective Landlord Licensing is a legal power that Councils can choose to use if they think it is necessary. The government has certain rules which we must follow before we can introduce it;

  • That the area has ‘low demand for housing’. This could mean there are a large number of homes that have been empty for a long time. It could also be that house prices have been driven down low and there is a high turnover of occupants.
  • And/or we must show the area has problems with anti-social behaviour where some or all private landlords should be dealing with this and are not.

If this is the case, we can introduce selective landlord licensing into the area for up to five years. This would mean all private landlords would need a licence to continue to rent out properties. A landlord would need to apply for a licence for each house or flat they let out in the area.

To qualify for a licence, a landlord must be able to demonstrate that they are acting within the law, taking all reasonable steps to manage their properties. Attached to a licence are conditions to ensure a home is safe. A landlord must get references from tenants before allowing them to move into the property. The landlord needs to deal with tenants causing anti-social behaviour in and around their home.

Landlords who either rent out a property without a licence, or fail to comply with the licence conditions could receive a substantial fine. In extreme circumstances, the Council could take over the management of the property.

Why The Avenues? 

The proposed area has a high level of private rented properties. House and rental prices are lower than average. When properties do come up for sale they are usually bought by landlords because of the low price and lack of demand from owner occupiers. The type of housing is old, built in the early 1900’s and have a higher than average likelihood of health and safety hazards. We receive a high number of complaints relating to poor property condition from tenants, refuse and antisocial behaviour. This may also be the reason for the high turnover of residents in the area.

The Avenues proposed streets (6.28Kb)

If you live or operate in the proposed area tell us your views.

Why continue licensing in Central Bensham Phase One? 

There have been great improvements in the area in the last five years. This includes:

  • a reduction in occupant turnover,
  • a reduction in reported ASB/crime 
  • an increase in the number of homes meeting the legal minimum standard.

Problem landlords have been excluded from the scheme and have been put off from investing in the area. Existing licence holders have received advice, support and training to understand the expectations of good management standards. We will continue to monitor these areas. 

There are certain areas within the existing licensing scheme that would benefit from it continuing. There is still low housing demand in the proposed area and it contains a high number, approximately 64%, of privately rented properties.

Central Bensham phase one proposed streets (4.84Mb

We have identified streets that still need support. We are proposing that parts of the existing scheme (see map) are re-designated. This will mean we can become even more focussed on the areas that continue to need support. We will work more closely with landlords and tenants to improve and maintain management standards and behaviour.

If you live or operate in the proposed area tell us your views.

Next steps

A report will go to Gateshead Council Cabinet including all feedback from the consultation process and analysis of area data.  The results of the consultation will be available in due course. 

Contact us

 

Rachel Crosby
Senior Environmental Health Officer
0191 433 2793

privatesectorhousingcivic@gateshead.gov.uk