City lAnd­lords get lAst chAnce

Court ac­tion threat from coun­cil

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Joel Lamy Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy 01733 588728

Land­lords have been given a fi­nal chance to avoid end­ing up in court af­ter fail­ing to sign up to a new li­cens­ing scheme. Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s se­lec­tive li­cens­ing pol­icy be­gan in De­cem­ber, but the num­berof ap­pli­ca­tions is 500 fewer than ex­pected.

Nowthe­coun­cil­hasvowed to take strong ac­tion against any land­lord who has not signed up to its scheme.

A coun­cil re­port on se­lec­tive li­cens­ing states: “Ro­bust en­force­ment ac­tion will be taken with a low tol­er­ance ap­proach be­ing adopted which will re­sult in land­lords who fail to li­cence be­ing swiftly brought be­fore the mag­is­trates.”

A coun­cil spokesman said land­lords are un­likely to be pros­e­cuted un­til the spring, but that they will be re­quired to im­provesub­stan­dard­prop­er­ties be­fore then.

He added: “We are aware of prop­er­ties be­ing rented with­out an ap­pli­ca­tion and these land­lords have been in­formed­ofthe­need­toim­me­di­ately ap­ply for a li­cence at the in­creased cost of £900.

“In ad­di­tion, cases are cur­rently be­ing built to take en­force­ment ac­tion against these land­lords as nec­es­sary.”

The coun­cil re­port states that more than 900 gas safety cer­tifi­cates were is­sued in the month be­fore the se­lec­tive li­cens­ing dead­line, sug­gest­ing that many prop­er­ties were with­out one de­spite it be­ing a le­gal re­quire­ment.

Se­lec­tive li­cens­ing cov­ers nine wards - Cen­tral, North, East, Park, Flet­ton, Bret­ton North, Stan­ground Cen­tral, Wal­to­nandOr­tonLongueville - an­daround37per­centof the city’s pri­vate rented stock.

The scheme was ap­proved de­spite op­po­si­tion from­land­lords whofelt they were­be­ing un­fair­lype­nalised. Th­ey­claim rogue land­lords will not bother to ap­ply for a li­cense.

The coun­cil was ex­pect­ing 6,500ap­pli­ca­tions­for­li­censes buthasin­stead­received5,947. So far 135 have been re­jected.

Li­cens­eswere£50for­land­lord­sac­cred­it­ed­with­a­na­tion­ally recog­nised or­gan­i­sa­tion and £600 for un­ac­cred­ited land­lords. But land­lords who are now ap­ply­ing for a li­cense af­ter the dead­line will be charged £900.

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