Private landlords face new licence fee in areas of Rotherham in bid to improve standards

A drop-in- session was held in Dinnington about new selective licensing laws
A drop-in- session was held in Dinnington about new selective licensing laws
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Landlords who own property in parts of Rotherham are to be the subject of a new licensing scheme to help drive up the standards of rented accommodation.

All privately rented properties in the centre of Rotherham, Dinnington and parts of Maltby will have to have a five-year licence, costing up to £625, as part of the scheme.

Rotherham Council’s cabinet agreed to designate the areas, which suffer from low housing demand, as selective licensing areas in the hope it will improve standards by lowering tenancy turnover, cutting down levels of empty properties and helping reduce anti-social behaviour.

Coun Maggie Godfrey, cabinet member of safe and attractive neighbourhoods, said councillors had weighed-up the benefits of a mandatory scheme versus a landlord-led voluntary scheme.

She said: “We needed to ensure that any licensing scheme that is introduced gives us the best chance of bringing about long-term improvements to the private rented housing stock in the areas concerned.

“This is not only for the benefit of tenants but also residents in neighbouring properties and the landlords themselves.”

The council received more than 1,600 responses during a ten-week consultation, which began in March.

Coun Godfrey added: “It is obviously a big decision but cabinet has taken on board the views revealed in the consultation and as a result has agreed to a mandatory scheme, which would bring with it greater powers of enforcement and a legal requirement that all landlords must register.”

There will be reductions for accredited landlords and single payments.