Landlord licensing rejected in Bournemouth
by Sarah Ashcroft
Bournemouth Council is set to oppose a compulsory scheme involving licensing private landlords after claiming it is not the answer to the issue, it has emerged.
According to Landlord Today and reported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the local authority may use its existing powers to take failing property owners who are not complying with registrations to court and prosecute them.
The action has already been shunned by the council's adult and community overview and scrutiny panel after officials attended a consultation with the RLA and several other relevant organisations.
As an alternative, the panel has claimed it favours working closely alongside proprietors to encourage them to sign up to a voluntary accreditation scheme that contains a code of conduct.
In addition, Bournemouth Council believes that using this method, property owners will ensure that they provide the best quality services to leasers and those who do not could face enforcement policies.
However, the local authority stated that those tenants who feel they are being treated unfairly by their landlord are likely to report their actions with the help of a new public phone hotline.
Bournemouth's decision to reject the plans comes as several other councils - including Salford - are toying with the notion of implementing inadequate licensing legislation.
Commenting on the move, council leader John Beesely said: "I thought licensing was the answer, but lessons from other local authorities are invaluable. We want to get it right and tackle as many problems as we can. Working with other bodies is the absolute key."
A report carried out by the panel suggested that additional licensing for leasers comes with a number of limitations - such as the inability to tackle letting boards, parking issues or bins being left on pavements.
The group's recommendations are set to be taken to the local authority's cabinet on November 20th.
Published on: November 13, 2012
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