by mikebell on 26 August, 2016
We’ve reported recently that North Somerset Council had decided to introduce a licensing scheme to improve poor-quality private rented housing in Weston-super-Mare town centre, following a 20-week consultation period earlier in the year.
The scheme was approved by councillors and was due to be implemented from November this year. Unfortunately, the scheme has been challenged by some local landlords who have suggested a number of other alternatives.
As a result, the council has decided not to proceed with the original scheme and undertake further work, with tenants and landlords, to determine how to progress things.
Councillor Mike Bell, who represents Weston Central ward, said: “I’m disappointed that the scheme will not go ahead as planned and has been derailed by the threat of legal action from some landlords, but I am more disappointed by the council’s actions than by landlords.
“This has come about because the council has failed to handle the consultation on the scheme appropriately and simply hasn’t done it’s homework to get the scheme right. You can hardly blame landlords for challenging the scheme when it appears the council, even after five months of consultation and a year of preparation, couldn’t get it right.
“The fact remains that there are real concerns about the quality of some privately rented housing in Weston town centre and there are too many bad landlords out there who are not interested in providing decent homes for local people. It’s clear that everyone wants to see that addressed in the best way possible and I look forward to working positively to achieve that.
“I am pushing for the review of the plans to be undertaken as quickly as possible and to make sure that the needs of tenants and landlords are fully taken into account.“
The council will continue to work with landlords to improve housing conditions for all tenants and would like to remind landlords of their legal duty to ensure the homes they let are well managed and free from serious hazards. More information about the required standards can be found at www.privatehousinginformation.co.uk
The licensing schemes for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) including the scheme which came into force in January 2014 for part of central ward are unaffected. Find out more about HMO licensing schemes.1 Comment