Landlords have a say

LANDLORDS have the chance to air their views on proposals to extend a licensing scheme to include 1,200 more homes.

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

There has since been 550 licences issued and a consultation period has been launched to extend the scheme.

A series of drop-in sessions have already been held in recent weeks and officers have now organised a session specifically for landlords.

The session is due to take place at Belle Vue Sports Youth and Community Centre, in Kendal Road, on Tuesday, May 10, between 2pm and 6.30 pm.

The following areas may be included if the scheme is extended:

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 the items are safe.

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

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 Hartlepool Borough Council’s selective licensing team on (01429) 284024 or email: