South Tyneside council is considering a selective licensing in two areas of South Shields - and looks likely to ignore its own consultation results.
The licences for landlords would come with a number of conditions described by the council as “ensuring accommodation was of a high standard and well-managed.”
The authority continues: “The scheme would hold landlords and tenants more accountable for the care and cleanliness of the accommodation and surrounding area - issues which currently incur significant cost to the council to manage.”
Formal consultation was carried out earlier this year, with letters sent to over 4,000 households, landlords and businesses in the proposed areas as well as drop-in sessions and presentations at landlord forums.
The council received 49 responses; 25 objected to the scheme - all who objected were either landlords or landlords who also live in the affected areas.
Councillor Mark Walsh, lead member of the authority for housing and transport, says: "The private rented sector plays an important role in South Tyneside's housing market, but some areas present challenges where properties have been subject to neglect, leading to increased anti-social behaviour.
"Introducing selective licensing in these zones will give the council a tool to tackle some of the worst privately-rented accommodation in the borough in a coordinated and adequately resourced way, alongside engaging proactively with landlords and improving relationships.
"It would help provide tenants with a greater choice of safe, good quality and well-managed accommodation and turnover and the number of empty properties would be reduced.”
The council has 54 seats; 48 are held by Labour.
Walsh adds: "In the supportive comments received, the reduction in anti-social behaviour was a consistent theme; tenants and residents had experienced it first-hand and believed a selective licensing scheme would help deter it."
He says the leading councillors who form a ruling ‘cabinet” are recommended to approve the introduction of the scheme in both areas, for a period of five years.
“It would be developed to be self-financing, with any income generated used for the running of the scheme of improvements in the licensed areas” he claims.