Two weeks left to decide on measures to improve housing standards in the private rental sector

Posted on Wednesday, February 9, 2022

TIME is running out for people to make their voices heard in a consultation that proposes a range of measures to tackle rogue landlords and help protect renters in communities across the city.

Leicester City Council is considering introducing additional measures requiring landlords and properties to be duly licensed in order to protect the most vulnerable and improve the standards of private sector rental accommodation across the city.

Three different options – or combinations of these options – were presented in a consultation that gives people the chance to learn more and get involved in decision-making to make a difference in their neighbourhood.

The online consultation which started in November 2021 runs until February 22, 2022.

As part of this, the city council is hosting three online question-and-answer sessions allowing people to ask questions and get more details about the proposals.

The sessions take place via Teams, and will take place on Tuesday, February 15, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday February 17 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Friday February 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Those wishing to participate can log in via the town hall consultation page here.

The City Council wants to broaden the scope of its existing powers to address persistent problems within the private rental sector and improve standards. The consultation presents three options showing how these different approaches could be used to improve standards in the private rental sector.

The first approach would be to introduce selective licensing, which would require all privately let properties to be licensed by the City Council, in parts of Westcotes, Fosse, Saffron, Stoneygate, Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields.

A second option proposes to introduce additional citywide licenses, which would require all small HMOs occupied by three or four unrelated tenants who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, to be licensed. of a license. It would intervene in all areas of the city.

A third option would bring additional licenses only to parts of Westcotes, Fosse, Stoneygate, Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields.

Each of the proposed permit measures would place conditions on the homeowner to ensure issues such as gas and electrical safety, installation of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are addressed. properly, as well as issues such as repairs and maintenance, waste disposal, rental management. and combating anti-social behavior.

Leicester City Deputy Mayor for Housing, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said: “It is vital that people have access to decent and affordable housing, and for many families the only chance of achieving this is through through private hire.

“Our responsibility is to protect the most vulnerable people by ensuring that their homes and owners meet higher standards in terms of safety, maintenance and effect on the wider community.

“We help landlords and tenants engage with us on these plans, and involving the communities themselves is key to ensuring we have robust measures that address local issues.

“I urge people to take part in this consultation and participate in the Q&A sessions, to play their part in shaping how we can raise the standards for both owners and their properties to meet. “

Additional licensing and selective licensing are the latest measures being considered by the city council to both crack down on rogue landlords and improve private sector rental standards.

Another consultation, which ended last month, looked at plans to expand legislation known as the Article 4 Directive, meaning planning permission would be needed to convert no any home in HMO in certain areas of the city.

A Section 4 Directorate already exists covering parts of the West End, streets near the De Montfort University campus and Leicester Royal Infirmary, many streets in the area between New Walk and HMP Leicester, as well than most of Clarendon Park and a section south of Lancaster Route.

This would be expanded to include thousands more homes in Rowley Fields, in Westcotes, Newfoundpool and parts of the Waterside area, as well as much of Knighton Fields, Knighton, Stoneygate, part of Aylestone, as well as most of Spinney Hills and Highfields.

To participate in the consultation on additional licensing and selective licensing, go here.