Plans to introduce selective licensing for private buy to let investment landlords in parts of Scarborough have reached the next stage of deliberation following a tour for cabinet leaders of some sub-standard properties.
The selective licensing scheme has been approved by the borough council’s cabinet, and will now be put forward to be considered by the full council. This follows a council member showing a cabinet leader some of the properties in the area owned by rogue landlords, a problem that a licensing scheme would potentially iron out if put in place.
The scheme would be set to cover the North Marine Road area and part of the town centre under Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004, which allows local housing authorities to designate areas suffering from either significant and persistent anti-social behaviour and/or low housing demand.
In March 2015 the Government expanded the criteria for selective licensing to cover areas experiencing ‘poor property conditions, large amounts of inward migration, a high level of deprivation or high levels of crime’.
Portfolio holder for housing at Scarborough Borough Council, Councillor Bill Chatt, described the properties in question: ‘I will say that I took the leader round to a couple of properties, at one of them the walls of the property were so black it looked like they had actually been painted black but it was mould. They had a central heating system which was vented into a passageway which was enclosed within the accommodation. You had CO2 coming from the boiler into a little passageway, if they opened the door God knows what the CO2 levels would have been.’
All landlords with buy to let investment properties in the designated area will need to apply for a licence if the landlord licensing scheme goes ahead in Scarborough as planned by the borough council.