Scheme to improve quality of homes in central Blackpool approved by the Government
Blackpool landlords will have to pay for annual licences in future
A scheme to improve the quality of homes in central Blackpool has been approved by the Government.
Blackpool Council’s selective licensing scheme covering private rented accommodation in the town centre has been officially approved by the Secretary of State for Housing.
The move follows the introduction of additional licensing in 2016 and will cover the wards of Talbot, Brunswick and the northern half of Bloomfield.
All landlords within the designated area will have to pay for an annual licence requiring them to take more responsibility for the behaviour of their tenants and ensure their properties reach certain standards.
It is hoped this will stamp out yobbish behaviour which has blighted parts of the holiday area, with some hoteliers saying this has damaged their trade.
Blackpool Council cabinet member for housing, Coun Christine Wright said they want to combat anti-social behaviour and improve housing conditions across the town, and this scheme will give the council stronger powers to deal with problematic tenants.
Wright said they recognise many landlords provide accommodation beyond the minimum standards but unfortunately, there are many properties that fall below acceptable standards.
She said one of the most basic human rights is that everybody deserves a clean and safe area to live and if landlords aren’t delivering that then they won’t hesitate to bring forward enforcement action.
They hope that this will be a positive move for responsible landlords, as cleaning up the local area should improve the attractiveness of their property and help them to find better tenants.
But some landlords remain disappointed by the scheme.
Blackpool landlord Stuart King said he had hoped the council would come up with a more innovative scheme, for example allowing landlords to pay monthly instead of yearly and with the money going into schemes such as energy efficiency and tidying up the area.
He thinks the council has missed an opportunity to have a greater impact on the area, and he doesn’t think there is a proven track record for selective licensing.
A survey showed 75 per cent of respondents backed the scheme, and 88 per cent felt private landlords should be responsible for dealing with their nuisance tenants.
Selective licensing already operates in Claremont, and has previously operated in South Beach.