In 2020 Durham County Council plans to introduce Selective Licensing across most or even all the county. Landlords and agents will have to submit reams of paperwork and pay huge fees, and tenants will face an intrusive inspection regime.
We think such a scheme will be bad for landlords, bad for tenants and bad for County Durham. We have a positive alternative but unless we can show it has wide support, Selective Licensing will be steam-rollered through.
Join Us now to oppose the Durham Selective Licensing Proposals / Durham Tenant Tax
Durham Private Landlords Supporting Standards has been formed by people working in the PRS (Private Rental Sector) in County Durham, including NEPLA (The North East Private Landlords Association).
We say that rather than imposing a coercive Selective Licensing scheme, Durham County Council should seek a public/private sector partnership to improve the standards of rented properties in County Durham and the life outcomes of its residents. We think cooperative working gives better focus and less red tape - good private rented sector providers are encouraged and assisted to raise their standards while those who don’t cooperate can be targeted and either forced to comply or taken out of business.
By contrast Selective Licensing hits landlords, agents, renters, homeowners and local businesses. It offers poor value for money because so much is spent on scheme administration rather than enforcement. Scheme fees can only be used for running the scheme and councils have to foot some costs of setting up and renewing schemes.
Even the government's own survey of local authorities concludes that selective licencing only has a significant benefit with other initiatives alongside.
As well as this, there are concerns that the licensing scheme will do nothing to tackle the issue of criminal landlords, because such landlords are likely to ignore the scheme and not obtain a licence, as they do with other regulations.
There are more than 150 Acts of Parliament and 400 regulations affecting landlords in the private rented sector. Rather than relying on licensing schemes to regulate landlords, Councils should use the enforcement powers they already have, such as civil penalties and banning orders.
Private property providers should be professional and the rogues rooted out, but extensive selective licensing when councils do not have the resources to implement improvement schemes alongside and to identify rogues will not achieve this.
This website presents the facts regarding Selective Licensing, explains how you may be affected and suggests a practical alternative.