Ashfield licensing policy to tackle rogue landlords extended

A selective licensing policy aimed at improving the standard of private rented homes in parts of Ashfield has been extended.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 9:19 am

The policy was brought in by Ashfield Council in 2017 to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve housing standards in New Cross and Stanton Hill in Sutton.

The authority approved in principle a decision to extend the scheme in December, before launching a consultation with tenants and landlords.

Now it has extended the scheme for a further five years and expanded the area where rented properties need a ‘selective licence’.

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Coun Kier Barsby, Ashfield Council member for Sutton St Mary's and portfolio holder for customer services, corporate change and digital transformation.

A ‘small number’ of streets have been both omitted and added into the scheme under the boundary changes.

New Stanton Hill areas covered include New Lane, parts of Victoria Street and a small section on the south of Stoneyford Road.

Additional New Cross sections include homes on Priestic Road between its junctions with Lime Avenue and Mansfield Road, as well as Bentinck Street, Portland Street and part of Welbeck Street.

Other changes will see landlords no longer needing to provide the council with their gas safety certificates each year.

More ‘pro-active’ support and advice will also be offered to landlords in managing issues or problems in the properties they let.

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And the authority will offer a £100 discount to landlords applying for the scheme – a licence costs £350 – if they are a member of a landlord-accredited body at the time of their application.

The policy’s extension was approved by the council’s cabinet, with members welcoming the impact it has already made.

Coun David Martin, portfolio holder for corporate and finance, said: “It’s about saving people’s lives and making them live in better conditions, it’s not just rogue landlords, but rogue tenants and it works both ways.”

Under the previous agreement, 620 licences were issued and three licences were rejected, because the owners failed to meet ‘fit and proper’ checks.

The initial scheme led to works being conducted on 338 properties to improve electrical safety, with a further 195 homes receiving measures to address dampness and mould including 83 boiler replacements.

Coun Kier Barsby called for the policy to be extended elsewhere in the district, something, the meeting heard, the authority is ‘prepared to do’, if deemed necessary.

He said: “It’s one of the best schemes this authority has ever brought forward.”

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