Selective licensing scheme set to be rolled out in Thurcroft and Parkgate

Published Tuesday, 9th April 2019
housing in Rotherham

A licensing scheme which has improved the standards of privately rented accommodation in areas of Rotherham is set to be rolled out further if it is agreed by the Council’s Cabinet on 15 April.

Over 400 privately rented properties in parts of Thurcroft and Parkgate are set to become the latest homes to be regulated under ‘selective licensing’ conditions under the 2004 Housing Act.
If the proposals are agreed, all private landlords in these designated areas will be legally required to have a licence for any rented house they operate and to make sure that they meet their obligations to provide appropriate housing. Amongst these are obligations relating to the safety and security of the property, taking steps to deal with anti-social behaviour, and maintaining the appearance of the property. 
Landlords would also be supported in ensuring their tenants meet their responsibilities to their properties and neighbourhood. Selective Licensing gives the Council greater powers to intervene where problems arise.
Seventy per cent of respondents to the Council’s consultation in Parkgate and 64 per cent in Thurcroft were in favour of a mandatory selective licensing scheme in each of the respective areas.
Selective licensing has already been successfully introduced in central Rotherham, Masborough, Eastwood, Maltby South East and Dinnington.
In these first areas initial inspections found that nine out of 10 properties needed improvement. Since the introduction of selective licensing 97 per cent of properties now meet the minimum standards for health and safety standards.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dominic Beck, said:  “There is a high reliance on the private sector for housing in both Thurcroft and Parkgate, communities which face particular issues in terms of unemployment, poor health, and higher levels of crime than the average. We know that by improving housing conditions, we can have a direct impact on the quality of life for both tenants and others in the community, so I was pleased to see such strong support from local residents for the proposal.
“The first stage of our selective licensing scheme showed how by working with landlords we can have a big impact on housing conditions, but also be in a position to take enforcement action on those landlords who let their tenants down when we have to.” 
The Cabinet meeting will take place on April 15, 2019 at 10am in the Council Chamber at Rotherham Town Hall.