Will it be Second Time Lucky for Council and their Selective Licensing Plans?

18 January 2012 Categories: News

Will it be Second Time Lucky for Council and their Selective Licensing Plans?

Hyndburn Council, which covers the borough of Accrington in Lancashire, failed to get the go-ahead for selective licencing of local landlords last year but are determined to have another try this year. The licencing plans, which were first proposed in March 2011 and then thrown out of the High Court later in the year, have been scaled down and resubmitted it has been revealed.

Following the proposal of the plans last year, a collective of nearly 350 local landlords took the initiative to the High Court saying that the designation of a specific area for licencing was unlawful. Mr Justice McCombe, the presiding judge, agreed and the licencing scheme was thrown out.

This year however members of the council have consulted with landlords in the area and have subsequently made numerous changes to their controversial scheme so that it covers smaller areas but more intensely. A decision on these new plans will be made during the summer.

Miles Parkinson, Leader for Hyndburn Council commented “The sooner we can have this implemented the better as it protects tenants and will provide a better quality of housing in the borough. I think the progress that has been made is promising.”

In response Paul Brown, one of the Hyndburn landlords that objected to the original plans said “Hyndburn Council has only five members of staff who would oversee the issuing of 1,800 licences. As it stands, we feel they will have no time to pursue bad landlords, and will only regulate the good landlords who put themselves forward.”

Whether this type of licencing initiative will spread across the rest of country remains to be seen.