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Government Blocks Selective Licensing Scheme

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The government has blocked Stoke on Trent council's plans to roll out a selective licensing scheme that would have impacted around 3,000 homes.

The council was looking to implement the scheme within each of 14 designated zones covering 154 streets, with every private landlord required to buy a £500, five-year licence for every property they rent out.

It had been argued that selective licensing would have helped it tackle poor housing conditions and management practices.

The areas were selected because of high levels of private rented accommodation, vacant properties and anti-social behaviour,

A spokesman for the council commented, saying: "We can confirm we have received notification from the government department on this. We are in dialogue with the department about the decision."

A report submitted to the cabinet last December argued for the scheme, adding: "It is considered that there are no other courses of action which will achieve the objectives of improving housing conditions and management practices as efficiently and effectively as the designation of the 14 proposed areas."

"A number of options have been considered but it is believed, that whilst these initiatives may improve housing conditions, they will not be an efficient use of resources and will not be effective as the impact will be limited in comparison to the proposed selective licensing designations."

"It is therefore considered that the making of the proposed designations will significantly assist the council to improve housing conditions and management practices to meet the council's strategic priorities."