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Published: Tuesday, 17th December 2019

Oldham Council is to ask people for their views and opinions on whether a selective licensing scheme for private landlords is needed in 10 of our wards.

A selective licensing scheme aims to improve the management of privately rented properties to ensure that they have a positive impact on an area - this means that a landlord has to meet certain standards before they can legally rent out a property.

At cabinet last night (Monday December 16) councillors gave the go-ahead for a formal 10-week consultation to start in the new year, which will involve residents, tenants, private landlords, businesses and other stakeholders.

The results and final recommendations will then be reported back to Cabinet for a decision.

In 2015 the council introduced its selective licensing scheme for private landlords in St Mary’s, Hathershaw, Waterhead, Primrose Bank, Hollinwood, Alexandra, Oldham Edge and Coldhurst. This was done under the Housing Act 2004.

The licensing scheme can only run for five years, which is why the council is consulting again.

The existing scheme required all landlords to be registered with the council and to obtain a five-year licence which cost £490 per property – less than £2 per week  

Various conditions relating to management of private rented properties were applied to the licences. This enabled us to ensure that poor management and property standards were challenged and licence holders were provided with education and assistance to make sure properties meet legal standards and provide safe homes for their tenants.

Councillor Valerie Leach, Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The vast majority of our private landlords look after their tenants, rent out decent properties and operate within the law.

“But, sadly, there are some who fail to provide housing to a decent standard and don’t control the tenants who they lease their properties to. That’s why we originally introduced the selective licensing scheme.

“Four out of five of the 3,672 residents who gave their views last time said they believed selective licensing would help improve the areas covered and they have been proven correct as we’ve been able to help out tenants and drive up standards.

“Any scheme would mean landlords and tenants have to act responsibly or face possible action from the council.

“This consultation will allow us to see if all parties think that a selective licensing scheme would again be appropriate in the highlighted neighbourhoods. Please give us your views as we want to hear from you.”

Consultation will begin in mid-January, and you will be able to give your views on our website www.oldham.gov.uk It will also be posted to properties within the proposed and surrounding areas. Drop in sessions and community meetings are also planned as are face to face interviews in each of the areas.

Information will also be sent to current licence holders/landlords/managing agents and local businesses.

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