NEW plans to introduce a licensing scheme for rental houses and flats could send rents and eviction numbers rising in two Dearne Valley villages, landlords have claimed.
Barnsley Council is set to follow Rotherham’s lead by introducing a Selective Licensing Scheme in four areas.
Goldthorpe and Wombwell are on the list, as are Elsecar and Measbrough Dyke.
The council said the scheme was “being explored as an option to help reduce antisocial behaviour and improve privately rented housing standards”.
But Barnsley Residential Landlords Association is opposing the plans, saying they amounted to the introduction of a “stealth tax”, and has sent a leaflet urging tenants and landlords to oppose the plans.
The proposals cover the following areas of Goldthorpe: Beever Street, Victoria Street, Cross Street, Cooperative Street and Claycliffe Terrace.
Wombwell streets included are: John Street, Mount Terrace, William Street, Blythe Street, Main Street, Bond Street, Myrtle Road, Victoria Road, York Street, Frederick Street, Princess Street, Bartholomew Street, Barnsley Road (1-99), West Street, Western Terrace and School Street.
Cllr Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for communities, said: “Reducing antisocial behaviour and improving housing standards is a high priority for the council.
“We believe that the introduction of a selective licensing scheme could be an effective way of tackling both.
“We’d like to hear the views of residents, landlords and partners and would encourage them to complete the online consultation or attend a drop in event.”
But the BRLA warned that selective licensing could mean landlords had to pay up to £500 for a licence, with costs passed on to tenants in the form of rent rises, and that the scheme might force some landlords to sell up and evict tenants in the process.
Landlords faced the possibility of home inspections on demand and could be fined if their properties failed to meet council standards, the organisation added.
Other possible concerns included the impact on property prices and the stifling of investment in included areas.
Consultation on the move is now open online and a series of events are being held to allow people to give their views in person.
Among them are drop-in events at Wombwell Library from 2pm to 6.30pm on Thursday, August 17, and at Goldthorpe Library from 3pm to 7.30pm on Monday, August 21. Consultation remains open until September 24.
You can join in the consultation online at www.barnsley.gov.uk/selectivelicensing until September 24.