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Selective licensing for private landlords could be introduced in Walsall

Walsall Council is considering introducing new selective landlord licensing in Walsall town centre and Willenhall with a view to raising standards in more privately rented homes in the local area.

A new report from the Private Rented Housing Sector and Selective Licensing Working Group, made up of cross-party councillors and officers from Walsall, has produced a wide range of recommendations that will go to full council for debate, including the prospect of a selective licensing scheme for Walsall town centre and Willenhall.

But the recommendation for pursuing a selective licensing scheme for Walsall town centre and Willenhall has proved controversial and reportedly sparked a fierce debate when discussed at an economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting last week.


Housing Standards team leader Appollo Fonka told the committee that selective licensing would help drive housing standards and provide them with a register of responsible landlords.

However, committee members Waheed Rasab and Gurmeet Sohal believe that the introduction of a licensing scheme would fail to address the issue of ‘bad tenants’ and merely drive ‘good landlords’ out of Walsall.

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    The problem with all such schemes is they add to the costs of decent landlords and thus tenants, but rogues will ignore them. Councils should be forced to use all the revenue to go after rogue landlords and fine them so licence fees can be kept very low.

    An unintended consequence of licenced properties is many btl mortgages are not available for any properties needing a licence from the LA.


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