Bid to put more houses in order

A LICENSING scheme for private landlords could be extended to include 1,200 more homes.

Selective licensing, which aims to promote better management standards, boost housing occupancy in areas where demand is low and tackle anti-social behaviour by tenants, was first introduced two years ago.

In Hartlepool, 550 licences have since been issued and consultation is now under way to extend the scheme to cover the following areas:

l St Oswald’s Street area – which covers the streets between Avondale Gardens and Brougham Terrace;

l Stephen Street/Sandringham Road area;

l Thornton Street area;

l Burn Valley Road area – includes all the streets around Baden Street, an area bounded by Elwick Road and Burn Valley Gardens;

l Wensleydale Street area – this covers the area from Sydenham Road to the rear of Kathleen Street;

l Burbank Street;

l Holt/Kilwick Street area – this covers the area between Lister Street and Stockton Road, including Waldon Street;

l Everett Street.

It means that private landlords who own property, or anyone who controls or manages property in these areas, will have to apply for a licence if the proposed areas are given the go-ahead.

Failure to license a property could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £20,000 and landlords could also be forced to re-pay all the rent monies received while the property is un-licensed.

Licence holders have to comply with a series of mandatory conditions, including producing a gas safety certificate for annual inspection, maintaining electrical appliances and furniture they have supplied in a safe condition and, on demand, provide a declaration that such items are safe.

Holders also have to ensure that smoke alarms are installed and working properly and to supply tenants with a written statement of their terms.

A series of drop-in sessions have been organised:

Monday, April 18, between 2pm and 6.30pm at the Grange Road Resource Centre;

Tuesday, April 19, between 2pm and 6.30pm at Wharton Annexe, in Wharton Street;

Wednesday, April 20, between 2pm and 6.30pm at St Matthew’s Hall, in Elwick Road;

Thursday, April 21, between 10am and noon at St Matthew’s Hall, in Elwick Road, and between 2pm and 6.30pm, on the same day at Burbank Community Centre, in Burbank Street.

There will also be a specific event for landlords at Belle Vue Sports Youth and Community Centre, in Kendal Road, on May 10, between 2pm and 6.30 pm.

The consultation runs until May 29 and the extended selective licensing scheme could be introduced as early as September next year.

For more information call the council’s selective licensing team on (01429) 284024 or go to or email: