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Plans to licence private rented sector cut

West Street.

West Street.

 

Licensing of all private rented sector housing will not go ahead, with the council choosing to wait and see how a fund to deal with rogue landlords works.

Boston Borough Council’s cabinet this morning (Monday) agreed to the recommendations from the Corporate and Community Committee following consultation on the controversial plans which had been running since October 2013.

The group voted to instead work with landlord associations to promote good practice, and to look into the findings of the ‘rogue landlord’ funding when it finishes, before applying for it to continue when it expires next year.

Portfolio holder for housing Mike Gilbert and council leader Peter Bedford both called the consultation ‘worthwhile’

Coun Bedford said: “The scrutiny committee I attended was a very worthwhile meeting and there was some good points put across.”

Coun Gilbert said the whole process had been useful to highlight the difficulties Boston faced and ways to deal with them.

Scrutiny committee chairman Coun Paul Gleeson also reminded councillors that if the Rogue Landlord Scheme did not improve issues around the sector, including anti-social behaviour, an option to licence Houses in Multiple Occupation still existed which ‘could be used as a stick’ if needed.

Coun Gilbert, however, reminded cabinet members it could be costly to follow such a path.

The council consulted on plans to licence all private sector housing in the borough following a report into the impact of immigration on the town which highlighted concerns over anti-social behaviour.

During the meeting, he said it was felt the council would be ‘most susceptible’ to judicial review, due to a lack of evidence linking anti-social behaviour with the sector.

 

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