Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is planning to introduce a selective licensing scheme in an effort to clamp down on unscrupulous landlords in the Melcombe Regis area as well as reduce anti-social behaviour in private rented properties.
Council officers have already discussed the plans for a selective licensing scheme at a ‘Scrutiny and Performance’ committee meeting, after a report by the Melcombe Regis Board identified a high proportion of property in the private rented sector that are in a poor state, while there are also growing concerns about anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Gill Taylor, the borough council spokesman for housing, said: “It’s not going to be a quick fix but it is a direction we are looking at. Council officers have been asked to come up with a scheme. I think there was quite a lot of local opposition to it which is why I have met with local landlords.”
Taylor insists that the council need to engage with landlords, because he views them as “part of the solution” and not “the enemy”.
He continued: “What we have to be careful about is that landlords could either sell up because of the regulations on them or pass the increases on to their tenants who could end up with higher rents.
“At the moment landlords have little incentive to improve the standards of housing because they don’t need to.”
Consultations will be held with landlords and tenants over the next few months, and if the decision is made to introduce a selective licensing scheme, the plans will be sent to the Secretary of State for approval.