Council reveals plans to crack down on town’s rogue landlords

The borough council said the main reason people usually refused offers of social housing was due to

The borough council said the main reason people usually refused offers of social housing was due to personal preferences Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Archant

Plans to crack down on rogue landlords in Great Yarmouth are to go before councillors next week.

A report to go in front of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s housing and neighbourhoods committee will look into ways of improving conditions in the private housing for tenants.

The scheme would require landlords of the majority of private rented housing to be licensed and meet specific health and safety requirements.

It would see inspections carried out to identify and work with what are described as “sub-standard” landlords.

It would also give the council power to issue financial penalties to those that break these conditions - or to those who simply fail to apply for licenses.

The changes would apply to the town’s Nelson ward, which currently has around 1,630 privately-rented homes.

In a joint statement, Conservative councillor Andy Grant and Labour councillor Trevor Wainwright said: “These plans aim to raise housing standards and support communities in the most challenged part of the Nelson Ward, which have long suffered from significant and persistent levels of sub-standard housing, deprivation, crime and anti-social behaviour related to the private rented housing sector.

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“As about 60pc of accommodation there is in the private rented sector, ensuring good property management should lead to an overall improvement of living conditions in the area, benefitting our most vulnerable residents, creating a level playing-field for ethical landlords and lifting the whole community.”

Next Thursday’s committee will be asked to approve for consultation a proposed Selective Licensing Scheme, covering parts of the Nelson Ward,

Under the plans, the council would work with partners to deliver the project, carrying out inspections to identify and work with sub-standard landlords and to enforce compliance.

There would be financial penalties for those who break conditions or simply fail to apply for a licence.

In addition to improving conditions for residents, the report concludes that this approach would create a level playing-field for ethical landlords, by discouraging unethical landlords who have an unfair advantage in the market due to their poor practices.

Some of the 1,630 homes are already subject to mandatory licensing and therefore exempt from the scheme.