Landlord licensing extended in Blackpool
The resort's latest attempt to tackle anti-social behaviour in its large rented housing market will be rolled out into a second area, Claremont, following a pilot in South Beach.
The council said the scheme requires that all privately rented properties in the area have a licence and that landlords show they manage their properties effectively.
A new element to the scheme, Additional Licensing, is also being introduced which will help to tackle the issue of houses of multiple occupancy, which is particularly relevant in Claremont.
Landlords and managing agents with property in the area must now apply for a licence from Blackpool Council's housing enforcement team. Cllr Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for housing, said: "Landlords and managing agents can sign up now to get their licence and there is a discount in place for those who do so promptly.
"There is also a discount in place for those who are members of professional bodies in order to encourage a professional approach towards property management.
"I would urge all landlords in Claremont to apply now.
"The Selective Licensing scheme which is in place in South Beach has had an positive effect in helping to improve housing conditions and reduce anti-social behaviour.
"Claremont is an area which experiences similar problems to those encountered within South Beach back in 2011 when Selective Licensing began there.
"What we hope to do in Claremont is have a similar positive effect and make a real difference to people's housing conditions by ensuring landlords take responsibility for the behaviour of their tenants and the condition of their properties."
Any landlord controlling or managing a house which ought to be licensed but is not, without a reasonable excuse for doing so, is committing a criminal offence and may be subject to prosecution and a maximum fine of £20,000.
Blackpool Council also has powers to apply for a Rent Repayment Order to claim back all housing benefit paid for any period where an unlicensed property is being privately rented.
Around 1,700 properties fall within the area, of which two thirds are single properties that would be subject to Selective Licensing.
One third are houses of multiple occupancy that would be part of the Additional Licensing scheme.