What are the benefits of Selective Licensing?
There is a review taking place in parts of Southend on Sea , to see if Selective Licensing would be a good scheme to be introduced. Parts of Kursaal, Milton and Chalkwell wards are being looked at to see if it would help the local communities, in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour, improve the quality of accommodation and help the general areas to improve. Selective Licensing requires owners of privately rented dwellings to pay for a license.
Under the scheme, every residential premises which is privately let to one or more tenants – subject to certain exemptions – must be licensed, if it is within the designated area. The relevant fee must also be paid.
With this in mind the council have put this scheme out for consultation. Roads in the borough have been suggested, residents and landlords are being asked for their views on the scheme.
What are the benefits?
- Reduction in anti-social behaviour
- Conditions on license relating to gas safety/smoke alarms
- Anti-social behaviour clause to be signed at commencement of each new tenancy
- Improved living conditions
- Fewer complaints
- Better behaved tenants; longer tenancies, potentially increased rent levels and improved property value (over time).
The consultation is showing that there is support for the scheme, but that landlords are also very concerned too.
I think the principle is good, to bring up the quality of tenants living in Southend properties and landlords do have a big part to play in that.
Landlord’s concerns range, from whether the license costs too much, the effectiveness of policing, the need for CCTV, to council tenants just as culpable for ASB. There maybe some valid arguments from landlords and the main thing is, that we the council and the landlords work in tandem to deliver an effective policy that reduces ASB and helps improve the community for all our residents.