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Proposed selective licensing scheme scrapped

A plan to introduce a new selective licensing scheme in Telford has been scrapped by Telford & Wrekin Council after more than 900 people replied to a consultation.

Under the original plans, private landlords in certain areas of Telford would have been required to acquire five-year licences before renting out their properties.

But after receiving hundreds of negative responses from local residents, as part of its public consultation, the council will now look to clamp down on rogue landlords and improve the local private rented sector by replacing its initial plans with a new set of five proposals called “Better Homes for All”.

Cllr Nicola Lowery, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, was among a number of local councillors to campaign against the proposal for selective licensing.

She said: “I greatly welcome the proposal of a more proactive approach from the council in applying their existing powers and their decision not to proceed with the proposal for selective licensing.  To introduce selective licensing at this stage would have been extremely damaging for reputable, good landlords and done little to improve housing standards, as there are existing sanctions available to tackle rogue landlords and ensure properties are adequately maintained.

“When considering whether to make a selective licensing designation a local housing authority should consider if there are any other courses of action available to it that would achieve the same objective. 

“Sadly, Telford & Wrekin council prior to consulting on selective licencing took minimal enforcement action on the powers they currently hold, which demonstrated that further action was needed and failed to fully consider the how the change in government legislation on Home of Multiple Occupation (HMO) would introduce mandatory licensing to all HMOs this October to address the existing issues.”

Lowery commended the Wrekin Landlord Association for what she described as a “proactive approach”, which in the end “greatly influenced this decision and lead to a highly positive outcome”. 

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