Scheme to improve quality of rented homes in Sutton to be extended

A scheme to improve the quality of private rented homes and monitor landlords in parts of Ashfield is set to be extended.

The policy was first brought in by Ashfield Council in 2017 to improve housing standards and property conditions in New Cross and Stanton Hill.

The authority approved plans to extend the scheme in December last year, before launching a consultation with tenants and landlords in the areas.

Now it has confirmed it plans to extend the scheme for a further five years and extend the area where rented properties need a ‘selective licence’.

Part of Victoria Street, Stanton Hill, will be covered by the extended scheme.

A “small number” of streets have been both omitted and added into the scheme under the new boundary changes.

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

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

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Electrical safety

Under the previous agreement, 620 licences were issued, while three licences were refused because the owners failed to meet ‘fit and proper’ checks, leading to enforcement action by the council.

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.

At present, applications for a selective licence cost £350, and this fee will continue for the coming five years if approved by council’s cabinet on March 29.

A report ahead of the meeting states the authority received a range of responses during the consultation.

Issues included the fee being too high, concerns the scheme is unfair on landlords and questions over whether there should be a ‘tenant licensing scheme’.

The report says: “Officers accept selective licensing is not perfect, but the original schemes have made a significant difference to the standard of accommodation and how homes are managed in the areas.

“There is an opportunity to maintain and build upon this.”

If approved by the council, the scheme would last for a further five years and would be reviewed again in 2027.

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