NEWS post

April 22, 2019

Improving Standards with Selective Licensing

Owning a property is now un-affordable for too many people living in the UK, leading to an increased number of families and individuals having to rent a home privately. This demand is enabling slum or rogue landlords to rent their substandard properties at affordable rates.

Often targeting disabled, out of work or low paid immigrant communities’, slum living conditions include over crowding, damp, mold, insanitary toilets, pest infestations, faulty electrics, pluming or heating systems. All contributing factors to poor mental, social and physical health.

A 10-year review of research into slum landlords published by the University of York Centre for Housing Policy in September 2018 claims that the government has failed to crack down on slum landlords and their sub-standard accommodation. The research recommends that’s all landlords should be forced to register for licencing and be subject to yearly check-ups and reviews by local authority.

Selective licensing is when all private rented accommodation in a selective licensing area must be awarded a license from the local authority. Reasons to introduce Selective Licensing might include, high levels of crime, deprivation and migration, poor property conditions and anti-social behaviour.

Under the Housing Act 2004 a Local Authority has the power to introduce Selective Licensing to tackle problem areas. The local Authority must be satisfied there is no other option to tackle the problem area. This should improve the lives of tenants and the local community.

Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Social Lettings agencies right across the UK are using tailor made versions of Localpad and its sister brand Lettingspad to improve access to private rented sector properties, increase property standards and manage their landlord licensing and housing schemes. If implemented effectively selective licensing can increase the professionalism of a local authorities private rented sector and generate funds.

Localpad web-based software allows local authorities to manage their own, highly successful, online property rating scheme’s. It heavily focuses on improving standards, encouraging greater customer choice and ultimately helping to prevent substandard living conditions.

Lettingspad was launched to help housing associations and Local Authorities in all aspects of lettings, head-leased and tenancy management whilst providing the tools to offer priority and non-priority clients, a cutting edge, supportive housing service.

For some of the most vulnerable people in our society privately rented accommodation is the only option available. The disruption of living in substandard properties and in problem areas can only add to the stress of often already unstable and unsafe lives. Resorting to costly temporary accommodation is not a sustainable option for Local Authorities, prevention schemes must be introduced.

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