Projects and Initiatives
Selective Licensing was introduced in Hartlepool on 1st of May 2009. The scheme is responsible for carrying out the mandatory licensing of all private landlords who rent property within areas of Hartlepool which have been designated under the Housing Act 2004.
The aim of Selective Licensing is to reduce anti-social behaviour, sustain suitable tenancies, increase occupancy and demand within these designated areas.
This is done by requiring licenced landlords to keep to certain minimum standards of tenancy management for the properties that they rent.
The benefits of the scheme:
· It creates a level playing field so decent landlords are not undercut by an unscrupulous minority.
· Poorly performing landlords will receive support and training to improve.
· Improved rental income as areas improve.
· Improvement in the reputation of private landlords.
· Shorter void periods and reduced tenant turnover.
· Increasing housing demand and reducing anti-social behaviour will improve problem areas, making these safer, more desirable places to live.
· Reducing environmental costs and costs of crime.
· Protecting vulnerable groups, who are often occupiers of privately rented accommodation which is poorly managed and maintained.
· Better management practices should help to increase length of tenure and reduce the occurrence of unplanned moves and homelessness.
· Improvement to the neighbourhood should benefit private tenant's security and sense of community.
· Tenants could also see economic benefits - for example the improved likelihood of regaining any deposit paid.
· More professional landlords should bring about improvements to the quality and management of property.
Within a designated area it is a criminal offence to let a property without a licence from the Council. (Penalty = a fine up to £20,000 per property) The scheme also promotes good practice within the private rented sector and works with private landlords to improve their management standards.
Under the scheme each privately rented property within a designated area must be licensed.
1. Standard application fee = £600.
2. Discounted application fee = £500.
(for completed applications received within the 6 week timescale)
A licence lasts for five years and sets out minimum standards and conditions of management which a landlord is required to comply with.
Breach of licence:
Breach of licence conditions is a criminal offence with the penalty being a fine of up to £5000 per breach.
Designated areas have been selected by the Council due to:
1. High numbers of private rented property in the area, combined with
2. The area experiencing historically low demand, and/or
3. Significant and persistent anti-social behaviour.
For further information regarding Selective Licensing or to check whether a property is within a licensed area please contact Tel: 01429 284311 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see Hartlepool Borough Council's Selective Licensing webpages for further information.