The City of Salford local authority (my local council), have finally approved proposals for a selective licensing scheme for landlords in another 3 areas within their region, these are the areas of Langworthy, Weaste and Seedley.
The areas outlined in the plan are currently undergoing some regeneration as historic churches are flattened along with the former home of Salford Reds rugby ground and entertainment venue, The Willows. New homes are currently being built on former brownfield sites within the area, that is just 5 minutes walk from the new home of the BBC at Media City.
Despite delaying the decision for over month, to consider outcomes and exit strategies, the scheme was finally approved, although it remains unclear if the objectives for the scheme are actually in place.
Instead, Salford promised to implement a number of discounts for compliant landlords and establish an engagement group which will supposedly meet to support the effective implementation of the scheme and shape its development.
The decision by Salford comes just a few weeks after the local authority revealed that the previous pilot scheme, which lapsed in May 2012, had lost £239,533 (GBP) during its five-year cycle; with further undisclosed costs for senior management support, enforcement action and Land Registry searches.
During the same period, Salford refused just five landlord licences, and revoked a further 73 landlord licences.
However, the local authority refused to say on what grounds the landlord licences had been revoked, and whether or not this figure included individuals who had simply sold their rental properties and left the private rented sector (PRS).
Chris Town, vice chairman of the Residential Landlords’ Association responded to Salford’s selective licensing decision,saying “The RLA is extremely disappointed with this decision. We are not satisfied that there is a strong case for this selective licensing scheme. Other local authorities such as Manchester, Leeds and Bournemouth have rejected selective licensing and are now looking at alternative methods of raising housing standards, particularly greater promotion of accreditation schemes and improved enforcement. Selective licensing simply does not work and is the legislative equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”
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