Landlord licensing scheme to target empty homes hot-spots

Landlord licensing scheme could be the answer to housing problems. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire
Landlord licensing scheme could be the answer to housing problems. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire
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Hotspot areas of Burnley with huge numbers of empty houses and anti-social behaviour are to be targeted with a new landlord scheme.

Councillors are set to introduce selective licensing schemes in the Queensgate, Duke Bar and Gannow areas of Burnley.

In total the two new areas include 2,585 properties of which 1,220 are privately rented.

Around 15% of all properties are empty – double the borough average.

The areas were chosen because there is low demand for housing and a high number of empty properties. There were also high levels of anti-social behaviour.

Under selective licensing, landlords and managing agents have to demonstrate they are a “fit and proper” person, a necessary requirement to their being granted a licence, and that they have appropriate management arrangements in place to properly manage their tenancies.

Coun. Howard Baker, Executive member for housing and environment, said: “Selective licensing has made a positive difference in Trinity and we want to use it to make other areas of the town safer and more attractive.

“We want to continue to work with landlords and residents to improve the area so that people want to live there, thereby cutting the number of empty houses and pushing up demand.”

Burnley Borough Council’s Executive Committee will discuss the schemes at its meeting on Tuesday.

The Executive is recommended to designate the two new selective licensing areas which would come into operation from June.

It follows consultation with residents, landlords and other interested groups, which found more than nine out of 10 residents wanted selective licensing in their area while more than three-quarters of landlords didn’t, mainly because of the fees involved.