What is Selective Licensing?
Selective licensing focuses on the management of private rented properties in areas of low demand and/or with high levels of antisocial behaviour. The key aim is to improve landlords’ management of properties and in doing so, help regenerate the area.
Every property rented out through a private landlord or agency would need to be licenced; tenants would need to supply satisfactory references. Landlords and agents will need to prove that they are fit to manage a property and that they have the proper management standards in place to deal with problems at the properties.
Landlords who rent properties without a licence would be committing a criminal offence with severe penalties – there is no choice.
Selective Licensing in Burnley
The following designation areas are currently operating in Burnley;
The Burnley Trinity area selective licensing area
The Burnley Gannow area selective licensing area
The Burnley Queensgate and Duke Bar area selective licensing area
The following designation areas came into force on the 15th November 2016;
The Burnley Burnley Wood with Healey Wood area selective licensing area
The Burnley Leyland Road area selective licensing area
The Burnley Ingham and Lawrence Street area selective licensing area
So how will licensing help?
Licensing ensures that all tenancy agreements contain rules about controlling antisocial behaviour and that landlords take action against any tenant breaking these rules.
It makes sure that houses rented out through private landlords or agencies are properly managed, in good condition and fit to live in.
Over the years, the aim is that the number of vacant properties in the area reduces through building a stronger, safer community where people choose to live and residents have a strong voice to tackle problems involving privately rented properties.
What support is given to Landlords?
Burnley has good landlords who work within the law, obtaining references for tenants, and managing their properties. However, it is evident that some landlords need to improve their management and are required to undergo training to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities.
It would be wrong to say all landlords are bad. They are not. That is why we will work with landlords, support and encourage them to meet the minimum standards that we will expect. A training day will be provided to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities, and the supporting packs will give them information to refer to in the future. We will also work with partner agencies, such as the council’s antisocial behaviour team, the Police, Floating Support and the Targeted family services to ensure landlords, agents and tenants have access to support to enable them to be successful in the tenancies.
How will licensing help with vacant properties?
In the long run, less antisocial behaviour will make your neighbourhood a more attractive place, so more people will move in.
Selective Licensing will link to other projects that tackle empty properties, like the Council’s Empty Homes team who are targeting resources through the empty homes programme which is helping to bring life back to empty properties through refurbishment in your area.
Licensed accredited landlords will have access to services such as property marketing.
Landlords (and owners of properties that are already vacant) will be encouraged to bring their properties back into use; if this does not happen, the Council will use its enforcement powers.
It is a criminal offence to rent out a property in the designated area without a licence. The Council will seek to prosecute those landlords who fail to meet the legislative requirements.
It is the responsibility of private sector landlords to apply to the Council for a licence.
For further information on the scheme or about an application please contact the Selective Licensing Team on 01282 425011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.