Licensing scheme for landlords is expected to continue to tackle anti-social behaviour problems

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Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:46 pm
Ramsden Road in Hexthorpe

Councillors are set to rubber-stamp extending strict conditions on landlords letting homes in a Doncaster suburb in order to tackle fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

Mayor Ros Jones and her cabinet are expected to continue with a ‘selective licensing scheme’ in Hexthorpe which would place extra conditions on landlords to keep properties to a certain standard.

All private landlords must obtain a licence and if they fail to do so, or fail to achieve acceptable management standards, the council can take enforcement action

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Council bosses said the private rented sector accounts for just 37 per cent of the properties in Hexthorpe but they have 64 per cent of the reported anti-social behaviour,

The selective licensing tool was introduced 15 years ago to help councils tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) and poor quality housing in areas with high numbers of privately rented homes.

Hexthorpe was designated a selective licensing area in 2015 with the aim of reducing ASB and improving tenancy management in the private rented sector. Housing chiefs said that the scheme had shown notable improvements in anti-social behaviour and general nuisance complaints.

There are approximately 300 private landlords affected by these proposals. A letter and an email was sent to all previous licence holders advising them of the proposals for a new scheme.

The key points arising from the consultation were respondents ‘were generally supportive’ of the need to address ASB but ‘negative about the additional financial burden’ that licensing places on landlords.

On implementing the scheme in 2015, council bosses said Hexthorpe was ‘the worst affected area’ in the borough of Doncaster in terms of housing standards, property management and ASB.

The ward had the highest instance of enforcement action reported in Doncaster with the top four streets being in Hexthorpe and the majority of cases were linked to private rented properties. In some streets, all the reported ASB was directly linked to private rented properties.

If approved, The designation will be made on November 15, 2021 and will come into force on March 1, 2022,

Nasir Dad, head of service for regulation and enforcement at DMBC, said: “There is clear evidence that certain types of ASB in Hexthorpe are significant and persistent, with the majority of the issues being directly associated with the private rented sector.

“It is proposed to designate the area of Hexthorpe for selective licensing, for a maximum period of five years.

“If designated, all private rented properties within the defined area, subject to statutory exemptions, will require a licence. It is considered that making the designation and adopting a revised strategy for its implementation will lead to a reduction in ASB when combined with other initiatives taken in the area by the council and its partners.

“The intention of this proposal is to directly address the problem of ASB in the private rented sector where landlords are failing to take appropriate action to address tenant behaviour through management of the tenancy. In basic terms, the intention is to continue to improve and set a minimum standard for tenancy management within the PRS.”