Councillors are set to license all privately rented accommodation across the borough to ensure people are living in homes ‘fit for purpose’.
Boston Borough Council’s corporate and community committee backed the proposals on Thursday in the face of figures raising concerns about the state of properties.
Speaking after the meeting Labour’s Paul Gleeson said it was ‘very, very positive’, adding: “There were a lot of interesting facts about the town proving to my mind the need for us to licence properties.
“I think it will really make a lot of difference. Above anything else it will enable us first to ensure people are living in houses that are fit for purpose and it’ll make it easier to control the number of people in houses and instances of bad behaviour.”
Evidence shown to members included:
○Strict rules mean that only three properties in Boston are legally defined as HMOs.
○ High rents are thought to have driven multi-occupancy and resulted in a range of antisocial behaviour issues.
○ 40 per cent of private stock is classed as non-decent, 47 per cent contain ‘category one’ hazards such as extreme cold or fire hazards – both higher than national averages.
○ More than 3,400 (12 percent) properties did not return voting registration forms, fuelling the idea that the population figures could be too low.
○ Figures show fly-tipping is higher in Boston than comparable authorities.
Cabinet members will now have to approve the licensing idea.
Research from charity Shelter shows the average rent in Boston is £540 – higher than the East Midlands (£527), Nottingham (£484), Derby (£431) and Leicester (£500).