Controversial plans to charge private landlords in Peterborough is set to be expanded under new proposals by the city council.
The decision last month to push forward a Selective Licensing Scheme caused a strong backlash with accusations of racism followed by anger from Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson after the scheme was deferred.
However, Peterborough City Council is re-introducing the scheme which could now affect more landlords in Peterborough.
The original version of the scheme was set to charge landlords to house tenants in Gladstone, Millfield, New England and Eastfield.
Its aim was to tackle rogue landlords, but detractors claimed it unfairly targeted Asian landlords - who are prevalent in the target area - and would mean additional costs would be passed on to tenants.
Landlords also queried why the scheme was only proposed for one part of Peterborough and not made city-wide.
But just a week after the scheme was announced Councillor Peter Hiller, the council’s cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, announced that it would be delayed in order to take into consideration government legislation.
Now, a new version of the scheme has been put forward for public consultation which will affect private landlords in the following wards: Central, North, Park, East, Fletton, Woodston, Stanground Central, Bretton North and part of Orton Longueville.
Selective licensing can be introduced into an area which is experiencing:
. low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area)
. a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour
. poor property conditions
. high levels of migration
. high levels of deprivation
. high levels of crime.
In addition, selective licensing is only applicable for an area which has a high proportion of property in the private rented sector.
The consultation into the revised scheme is due to begin on October 22.
The council report detailing the consultation states: “The consultation will be informative, clear and to the point, so the proposal is readily understood.
“It will inform local residents, landlords, letting agents and businesses about the proposed designation, giving the reasons for proposing it, why alternative remedies are insufficient, demonstrating how it will tackle specific problems together with other specified measures, and it will describe the proposed outcome of the designation.
“It will also set out the proposed fee structure and level of fees Peterborough City Council is minded to charge.
“Consultees will be invited to give their views; these will all be considered and responded to.”