Licensing plan under spotlight - and anti-social behaviour data breakdown is not available


Private landlords in the town have challenged Boston Borough Council over its plans to force them to hold a licence.

The authority says the idea behind licensing is, in part, to tackle anti-social behaviour and overcrowding.

But landlords are demanding to see proof that anti-social behaviour is a problem for the private rented sector and not social housing as they fear they are being unfairly targeted to tackle the issue.

Police pulled out of last Tuesday’s meeting at the Assembly Rooms to discuss the proposals due to operational reasons but afterwards confirmed to The Standard their records of anti-social behaviour do not show the type of housing the offender lives in.

Chief Insp Paul Timmins added: “The close working partnership between police and social housing landlords enables information to be shared and problems identified at an early stage.

“This ensures that a multi-agency approach can be taken to supporting tenants and action taken, where appropriate, for the benefit of the community. We would welcome any opportunity to mirror such effective practices in the private rented sector.”

At the meeting, NLA members Gavin Dick and Don Robbie were accused of ‘scaremongering’ on their claim the new scheme could increase mortgage costs, however Mr Dick said he had proof.

Coun Mike Gilbert told the meeting the plans, equating to £2 a week, tried to solve issues arising from the Task and Finish Group into immigration.

One landlord with 40 properties asked how he would raise the £20,000 needed. Coun Gilbert said: “Clearly these properties must make some money for you.”

He added the proposals were for 2015, giving people time to get the money together.

The consultation on the proposals ends on Friday.