A selective licensing regime is being considered by a westcountry council following an enquiry into private rental sector conditions.
Cornwall Council says 50 per cent of private rented housing in the county is not of “decent homes” standard compared to 30 per cent nationally.
Next week leading councillors will decide whether to recommend to the whole council that it should launch a formal consultation on licensing proposals.
It appears likely that three areas of Cornwall – Camborne, Pool and Redruth; Penzance; and Newquay - will be subject to a scheme with some 4,000 properties involved, equivalent to one in nine privately rented homes in the county.
The authority already operates a Responsible Landlord Scheme with 700 landlords owning 10,000 properties.
Councillors will now consider a report saying: “This has become a valued resource for landlords and agents often attracting positive feedback and resulting in raising both management and property standards without the need for formal intervention.
“However, membership is voluntary so it works for those that are trying to improve and meet all regulatory provisions but may not reach where it is perhaps most needed, that of rogue criminal activity.”