New scheme to tackle Sheffield landlords

Cllr Harry Harpham
Cllr Harry Harpham
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Landlords, residents and business owners in the Page Hall area of Sheffield are being asked what they think about plans to bring in new licensing arrangements for landlords in the private rented sector.

The proposed scheme, called Selective Licensing, would mean landlords, both existing and new, will have to apply for a licence in order to let out their properties and prove they are a ‘fit and proper’ person.

The licences would specify the rules landlords letting properties in Page Hall will be expected to follow – like having gas certificates for properties and clear tenancy agreements in place.

Penalty charges of up to £20,000 could be incurred if a landlord rents a property in Page Hall without a licence, or breaches the terms of the licence.

The scheme is designed to protect potentially vulnerable tenants and the wider community from the consequences of properties being let irresponsibly.

Coun Harry Harpham, Cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: “Unfortunately, over the last few years we have seen an increase in the number of irresponsible landlords, especially in the Page Hall area.

“These landlords are failing to comply with basic regulations, meaning they end up giving all landlords in the area a bad name.”

Under the new scheme, landlords would also have to take more responsibility for the management of their tenants and carry out thorough reference checks.

“It is hard to believe that some landlords don’t even ask for references when they let out properties”, said Coun Harpham.

“This has a negative effect on the whole community, and we have seen large scale problems in this area, such as overcrowding, anti-social behaviour and increased litter.

“Hopefully, by introducing selective licensing, we can clamp down on this minority of landlords who are causing such problems in Page Hall.

“We believe everybody has the right to live peacefully in their own home and in a community that is safe and clean.”

Questionnaires asking for people’s views on the scheme are being issued to all addresses and a series of events will be taking place during the summer to encourage people to take part .