Selective licensing scheme extended to Thurcroft and Parkgate

By Gareth Dennison | 10/08/2018

Selective licensing scheme extended to Thurcroft and Parkgate
This front door at a property was found to be screwed shut when council officers visited — and the back door had no handle — posing a significant risk in case of fire.

SELECTIVE licensing for private landlords will be rolled out to parts of Parkgate and Thurcroft.

The scheme was launched three years ago to improve housing standards in Masbrough, Eastwood, Maltby and Dinnington.

The licences — £592 per property for five years — aim to cut tenancy turnover, empty houses and anti-social behaviour.

Protesting landlords warned that rents would rise but Rotherham Borough Council won a judicial review and implemented the scheme.

The authority has been pleased by the results in the four selected areas, with 90 per cent of all licensable properties now registered and investigations or prosecutions in progress for the rest. 

It has now picked two more places — described as the areas of greatest concern — to introduce the licences. 

The criteria included levels of deprivation, health issues, crime, and housing conditions.
The Thurcroft zone comprises the estate between John Street and Green Arbour Road, while in Parkgate the scheme will centre on Broad Street and Goosebutt Street.

A council report said: “The current designated areas have seen significant successes in improving housing conditions to make properties safer for our most deprived communities. 

“Inspections and consequent enforcement actions have dealt with a range of issues which impact directly upon the health of the young and vulnerable.

“These include tackling damp and mould, which can lead to long-term respiratory disease, fire safety and excess cold.”

Cllr Dominic Beck, cabinet member for housing said: “We will consult as comprehensively as we can.

“We will follow the same processes that we did last time, that were supported by the judge at the judicial review as robust and comprehensive.”

Ten houses in the original four areas have been closed as rental properties because they posed an “imminent or serious risk” to tenants.

Some 18 landlords have been prosecuted for failing to meet standards, with another 30 awaiting court hearings.

Cllr Beck said: “In its truest sense, this scheme is potentially saving lives. 

“It’s for the betterment of everyone, not just the tenants but the landlords as well.”

And leader Cllr Chris Read added: “We have seen the condition of some of the properties in the existing selective licensing zones.

“They are, in some cases, quite alarming. Where we can take some steps to ensure people’s houses are of a decent quality, then we should be doing that.”

Cabinet members approved the scheme rollout on Monday. 

Ten weeks’ public consultation will begin in September with a view to bringing in licences in Parkgate and Thurcroft next April.


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