Plan to tackle rogue landlords and improve housing standards

A new scheme to improve housing standards in privately-rented homes in Telford and Wrekin and reduce littering, fly-tipping, crime and anti-social behaviour is to be consulted on this spring.

Plan to tackle rogue landlords and improve housing standards

While many landlords provide good, well-managed and well-maintained accommodation, there are examples in the borough where properties are poorly managed.

Yesterday (Thursday 23 March), the Council’s Cabinet agreed to consult on a five year scheme which would require all private sector landlords in parts of

Hadley and Leegomery, Malinslee and Hollinswood, Brookside and Sutton Hill and Woodside to apply for a licence. 

The licence would cost £610 in total (£860 for late applications) per property for the duration of the 5 year scheme.  There would also be an option to spread payments.

Landlords would be required to comply with a set of licence conditions which include maintaining the property to a good standard, making sure tenants provide references and when tenants move on making sure the property is secure, clean and ready for the next tenant in order to avoid concerns such as fly tipping.   

All of the areas proposed have rates of housing disrepair, a high turnover of tenants and some of the highest rates of anti social behaviour  such as fly tipping reported to the Council, which impact on the quality of life for residents living in the neighbourhood.

Following last night’s decision, Telford & Wrekin Council is to consult landlords, tenants and other interested parties and get their views on the proposed scheme. The consultation is due to begin in April and run for ten weeks. 

During this time letters will be sent to properties in and around the proposed areas and there will be drop in sessions to give further information and invite people to complete an online survey. 

Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Safety and Enforcement, said: “We want people to be proud of where they live and where they own a property. We want to encourage landlords and their tenants to make it their responsibility to work with us to improve the environment.

“Through this scheme we want to weed out the bad landlords and tenants, protect the good ones and improve the quality of life for them and their neighbours. 

“We want to work with landlords and help them increase standards. In return for the licence fee, we will provide them with advice, guidance and the tools and resources they need in order to better manage their properties and their tenants. Within the proposed scheme there are legal penalties for those who don’t play their part, but this would be a last resort.

“In addition, we are offering further help through our voluntary Landlord Accreditation Scheme, which offers a number of benefits including; training in areas such as the law, free tenancy advice and help in promoting their properties and accreditation to prospective tenants.

“For the tenants, we want to improve the environment in order for them to want to stay where they live and, by doing so, make communities more stable.”

Similar schemes have been successfully introduced in places like Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Peterborough, Salford, Scarborough, Harlow and Coventry.

Further information on the consultation, online survey and drop in sessions will be published in due course.

Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the scheme could go live in November.