Council set to walk away from landlord licensing scheme
A major local authority is likely to decide against a compulsory landlord licensing scheme, saying it is not the answer.
Instead, Bournemouth Council will use existing powers to clamp down on landlords who fail to keep their houses in order, and prosecute them.
Members of the council’s adult and community overview and scrutiny panel decided against a compulsory licensing scheme. This would have cost each landlord several hundred pounds and have incurred additional administration costs for the council with at least five extra staff.
But, following a consultation exercise with residents, the panel has recommended that landlords should be encouraged to sign up to a voluntary accreditation scheme, with a code of conduct.
Panel members also recommended that existing legislation should be enforced more strenuously and additional resources found to fund a dedicated enforcement officer with a phone hotline for the public to report any concerns.
Cllr Rob Lawton, housing portfolio holder, said: “Make no mistake – if a landlord does not comply with legislation the council will prosecute them.”
Council leader Cllr John Beesley 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.”
The recommendations have to be approved by the council’s cabinet on November 20.