Crackdown on worst housing in Sheffield

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Landlords in a troubled area with the worst privately rented housing in Sheffield will have to meet tougher standards under plans to improve living conditions.

From April, Page Hall is set to have the city’s first selective licensing scheme - where landlords must register, hold a £725 licence for properties and comply with conditions - to combat some irresponsible landlords letting overcrowded, noisy or unsanitary houses.

Councillor Harry Harpham.

Councillor Harry Harpham.

Residents have also complained of litter and gangs congregating after many Roma and Slovak people moved to the area - with tensions rising in recent months.

Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said the scheme would help to reduce anti-social behaviour by finding problems early and requiring tenancy agreements.

He added: “This is the area that has the worst standards of housing, it is where we get most complaints about tenancy issues, and there are the wider aspects of anti-social behaviour.

“It’s not right that landlords think their responsibility is simply to take rent money from tenants and then walk away - they have a wider responsibility both to tenants and to the wider community as well. We don’t think all landlords are living up to those.”

Page Hall is the only Sheffield area where house prices still fall - which the council hopes will also change.

Homes on Page Hall Road, Willoughby, Wade, Lloyd, Robey, Hinde and Popple streets will be targeted as, in consultation, residents said they had the most problems. The rest of Page Hall will have a voluntary scheme if plans are approved by council cabinet members next Wednesday.

Landlords who don’t comply could be prosecuted. A £145,000 Government grant would help towards the £238,000 costs.