Barnsley council is hoping to introduce a selective licensing scheme with the aim of combatting rogue landlords and problem tenants in the private rental sector.
Barnsley council is the latest local authority to consider selective licensing as a method of cleaning up the private rental sector. The council is currently consulting on proposals to introduce the scheme in various areas, including parts of Elsecar, Goldthorpe, Measbrough Dyke and Wombwell.
According to licensing officer Gayle Hancock, the aim behind the scheme is to set a benchmark for everyone to work to regarding the private rental sector.
A consultation on the proposals is set to run until 24th September.
The local authority said the scheme would affect about 570 properties within the area. It would also mean that landlords and tenants would be bound by certain requirements that would lead to overall improvements in sector standards. Barnsley council added that the aim of the licensing scheme was to improve the management of private rented properties. It would also reduce anti-social behaviour and help tenants to easily identify who is responsible for their home, holding rogue landlords accountable.
The scheme would also place extra cost on landlords, who would need to pay £530 over five years to license each property they own. This is a measure that often causes controversy in landlord licensing schemes, despite their positive intentions to improve the sector.
Ms Hancock explained that the scheme would be useful as a learning process to bring inexperienced landlords up to standard as well as to weed out rogue investors. She explained: ‘We know we have some very good landlords in Barnsley – but there are some who are novices at the landlord game, and some who are poor. What we want to do is to ensure everyone is working to the same level.’