Council bids to tackle squalor-filled rental properties in Peterborough

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords in Peterborough who provide substandard accommodation to tenants have been warned they will be targeted under new regulations.

Photographs of squalid living conditions in the city's rental sector have emerged in recent days and the local council has reacted by putting forward plans for new licences that landlords would have to attain, reports the Peterborough Telegraph.

Officers believe some property owners are guilty of overcrowding properties, while the images show other problems include bags of litter in bedrooms, filthy bathrooms, gardens packed with furniture and rotting food.

Adrian Chapman, Peterborough City Council's executive director of operations, said: "We have seen a gradual decline in property values in the area and this has created a number of issues. Instead of being sold to families, properties have become overcrowded with tenants or subdivided into flats and bedsits."

The findings made by the council have led to it agreeing a ten-week consultation period over a proposal to introduce a licensing policy. This would involve landlords with properties in the Gladstone, New England, Eastfield and Millfield areas having to pay for a licence.

Each licence would run for five years and make it clear what standards landlords must offer to tenants in rented homes. Those who do not comply would be in line for a fine of up to £5,000, while landlords who fail to get a licence could be forced to cough up £20,000.

Brian Gascoyne, chair of the Millfield and New England Regeneration Partnership, said the organisation is 100 per cent behind the council's plans, adding: "The only people who will oppose this will be landlords who have something to hide."

If the scheme proves to be a success in the selected areas then it is likely to be rolled out across the whole of Peterborough over the next ten years.

Mr Chapman reaffirmed the idea that the council is aiming to support landlords rather than punish them, but it must also look out for tenants and the licensing project should achieve that.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801643303-ADNFCR

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Published on: September 27, 2013

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