Middlesbrough Council is proposing to introduce Selective Landlord Licensing in a part of the Newport ward. This page will give you further information about the consultation and about Selective Landlord Licensing.
You can view/download the full proposal in the 'Downloads' section further down this page, which includes a map of the proposed designated area.
What is selective landlord licensing?
The Housing Act 2004 gives the council powers to introduce Selective Landlord Licensing for privately rented properties in areas experiencing low housing demand and/or significant and persistent anti-social behaviour. The council's proposal is made on the grounds that Newport is an area of low housing demand with high and persistent levels of antisocial behaviour. The purpose of such schemes is to improve standards of property management in the private rented sector. The council can make the designation where it believes this will, when combined with other measures, lead to improved social and economic conditions in the area. An area can be designated as a Selective Landlord Licensing area for a maximum of 5 years.
Within the designated area, all private rented properties will require a licence, although there are some exceptions to this listed in the proposal document. The licence will contain conditions that all landlords must adhere to.
How Middlesbrough's proposed scheme will work
All private rented properties located within the designated area in Newport will be required to be licensed (see proposal document for list of exemptions). Any properties that are currently licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) will not need to apply for a Selective Licence also.
The council must be sure that the most appropriate person is the licence holder, which in most cases would be the property owner. When deciding whether or not to grant a Licence, the council must:
- Check they are a 'Fit and Proper Person' (see section below).
- Ensure their management arrangements for the property are satisfactory; and,
- Ensure the licence holder has satisfactory financial arrangements to be able to maintain the property, checks will include whether the council has previously carried out Works In Default or whether the proposed licence holder has been declared Bankrupt or has any County Court Judgements.
The council must ensure that the Manager / Managing Agent (if different from the licence holder) is also a 'Fit and Proper Person' (see section below).
Fit and Proper Person
A licence may be refused where:
- They have committed any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, or violence or drugs, or any offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 42) (offences attracting notification requirements);
- Practised unlawful discrimination as defined in the Equality Act 2010 on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, race, religion or belief, marital status, pregnancy, maternity, or disability in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business; or
- Contravened any provision of the law relating to housing or landlord and tenant law.
Once properties are licensed, there will be a programme of compliance inspections, which aim to cover all private rented properties within the designated area. They will be multi-agency inspections, which will check compliance with the licence conditions as well as providing support for tenants through 'tenancy relations'.
The Tenancy relations element of the scheme will involve:
- Assessing tenants' needs and identifying early intervention and prevention.
- Providing direct early help to tenants.
- Making referrals and follow up to other support and health services including screening services, where necessary.
- Helping to source employment/training opportunities for those currently unemployed.
Why introduce licensing?
Newport is experiencing major challenges associated with social and economic decline this includes:
- high levels of crime and antisocial behaviour;
- high levels of private rented properties and poor living conditions;
- high levels of empty properties;
- a transient population.
In addition to this there has been significant investment in the physical regeneration of Middlesbrough and social regeneration is a key priority for the council
Whilst Newport may not always be recognised as the most disadvantaged area against every statistical measure, the rate of its decline, it’s vulnerability in terms of crime, social isolation, and the impact of welfare reform provides a particularly compelling picture of chronic need – especially in conjunction with the apparent housing market failure. If not addressed, this decline could threaten the long-term stability of the area.
What are the benefits of licensing?
As part of a comprehensive programme Licensing can:
- Halt area decline
- Reduce anti-social behaviour, crime and vandalism
- Support landlords
- Improve housing and management standards for private tenants
- Benefit the wider community and businesses
- Long-term economic benefits
There is an 11 week consultation period to obtain views and comments on the proposed scheme. The consultation will start on 12 November 2018 and close on 28 January 2019. Once the consultation period is closed, the results will be published on the council's website.
How do I respond to the consultation?
We welcome responses about the proposed scheme, in particular we welcome feedback from the following in Newport and surrounding areas (see zone map in the Downloads section):
- private rented sector tenants
- private sector landlords
- social rented tenants
- social sector landlords
- community groups
- Ward Councillors
- local businesses
If you would like to respond to the consultation, you can do so in the following ways:
- Complete the online questionnaire
- Download the questionnaire from the 'Downloads' section below
- Collect a questionnaire from Civic Centre, Newport Hub, Town Hall, or Middlesbrough House receptions
- Attend a drop-in session at Newport Hub, St Pauls Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 5NQ:
- Landlords and businesses
Monday 26 November 2018
10am to 12pm or 1pm to 3pm
- Tenants and residents
Tuesday 27 November 2018
10am to 12pm or 1pm to 3pm
- Landlords and businesses
All completed questionnaires should be returned to: Selective Landlord Licensing, Middlesbrough Council, P.O. Box 504, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FY
Telephone: 01642 728100 / 01642 729154 / 01642 354150