Hartlepool Borough Council

Selective Licensing

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On 30 January 2009 the Council obtained approval from the Department for Communities and Local Government to introduce a scheme to licence landlords and their properties in specific areas of the town. These are:

  • Hurworth Street area
  • Belk/Cameron/Furness area
  • Rodney Street area
  • Dent/Derwent Street area
  • Cornwall Street area
  • Patterdale/Borrowdale Street area

This designation means that private landlords who own property in the area or any person that controls or manages property in the area will be required from 1 May 2009 to apply for a licence.

Failure to license a property, if required, may lead to prosecution and a fine not exceeding £20,000. Landlords may also be required to re-pay all the rent monies received whilst the property is un-licensed.

The scheme will run alongside Council and other agencies initiatives to improve low demand and reduce anti-social behaviour in these areas.

Licence holders will have to ensure that a number of conditions are complied with including:

  •  that a current gas safety record is provided to the authority
  • that electrical appliances and furniture are kept in a safe condition and a declaration is provided to the authority on demand as to the safety of such items
  • that smoke alarms are installed in the house and are kept in a proper working order. A declaration must be provided to the Council on demand as to the condition and positioning of alarms
  • that a written statement of terms (such as a tenancy agreement) is provided to the occupier of the property
  • that references are demanded from any prospective occupants. (We will be strongly recommending that landlords make use of the Council's Good Tenant Scheme when deciding on a prospective tenant's suitability)

In addition the Council has set out a number of additional conditions regarding the management of a tenancy including ensuring that adequate financial arrangements are in place. The person applying for the licence will have to be considered a 'fit and proper' person and this will mean taking consideration of the following matters:

  • any convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs or fraud
  • any convictions of housing and landlord and tenant laws
  • any convictions relating to unlawful discrimination

Any licence holder failing to comply with any of the conditions could face a possible fine of up to £5000 for each breach.

Whilst conditions will be imposed on licence holders, we must stress that the aim of selective licensing is to improve management of the private rented sector and support and guidance will be available from the Authority if required and in some cases training could be offered.

It is hoped that the introduction of selective licensing will provide an additional tool to bring about improvements in the areas, as the standards of management in the private rented sector improve.

If there are any landlords or tenants who think that they may be affected by this designation they should contact the Selective Licensing Team to find out more by ringing (01429) 523328 or emailing selectivelicensing@hartlepool.gov.uk

 

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Selective Licensing Approval

Selective Licensing Approval

Selective Licensing Approval

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