120 Peterborough properties ‘in breach’ of licensing law
Around 120 properties in Peterborough are believed to be unlicensed in a breach of city council regulations.
Peterborough City Council introduced selective licensing in December 2016 in a bid to tackle rogue landlords.
The scheme forces landlords to hold a licence (now costing £600) for each property they rent out in nine different areas of the city.
Figures have revealed that 7,629 licenses have so far been issued by the council, but the authority is aware of at least 120 properties which require a licence but have yet to receive one.
It said: “These are located within the designated area of selective licencing and are being investigated as suspecting to be operating without a licence.”
Asked what action is being taken, a spokesperson added: “The council’s investigations are ongoing to determine if a selective licence is required.”
When the scheme was introduced the authority expected that 6,205 properties would need a licence.
Selective licensing currently covers all privately rented properties in parts, or all of: Central, North, East, Park, Fletton, Bretton North, Stanground Central, Walton and Orton Longueville wards.
To obtain a licence landlords have to meet certain standards and comply with conditions which include ensuring the property has a gas safety certificate, working smoke alarms and safe electrical appliances and furniture.
Moreover, landlords are required to meet a host of other criteria which includes monitoring overcrowding, resolving anti-social behaviour, legally removing tenants where there is evidence of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour and ensuring properties are in good condition and free of waste at the start of each tenancy.
Selective licensing can only be implemented in areas which meet set government criteria.
This includes if the area is: suffering from low housing demand, experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour, suffering from poor property condition and has high levels of migration and deprivation.
Selective licensing is due to end in Peterborough on October 31 with “evidence gathering currently taking place” to determine which areas would come under its jurisdiction for the following five year period if the scheme is renewed.
The renewal of selective licensing will need government approval.