More help for tenants in privately rented homes

People living in privately rented homes could get more protection under new council plans.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 1:30 pm
Coun Sophie Wilson

Sheffield Council introduced selective licensing schemes in Page Hall in 2014 and in the London/Abbeydale Road area last year.

The schemes, which force landlords to bring homes up to a good standard and take action over anti-social behaviour or repairs and maintenance problems, have been a success.

One Page Hall landlord who refused to co-operate was fined over £4,000.

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There have been calls from tenants’ groups for a citywide scheme but the council says it would need government approval to do this.

Instead it’s looking at alternative ways to help neighbourhoods with a high number of problems with privately rented homes. The council is hoping to announce new proposals by the end of September.

Coun Sophie Wilson, the new cabinet advisor for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “The current system clearly isn’t working for tenants and something needs to be done.

“We need to put in place a fair system that gives renters the rights that everyone should be able to expect. We have already committed to implementing a renters’ charter.

“As someone who lives in private rented accommodation, I know how important it is that rights for renters are protected. Ultimately this is about making sure that everyone can live in a safe and secure home, something everyone should be able to expect.

“More needs to be done to build on the two selective licensing schemes that have been rolled out over the past few years and as part of the review, I will be considering our best options for action in the city.”