LETTER: We will listen to all views on licensing


Some confusion has been generated about private tenancy licensing. The proposal that we as a council are consulting on will, if implemented, result in private tenancies having to have a licence per rented property.

This will cost £500 for five years and does not have to be renewed every time a property is re-let. The rough cost of this is about £2 per week per property. It is obvious that this cost will be passed by many onto the rental charges; however this would be countered by the downward effects on rents as a result of private rented properties being let to the correct number of tenants, rather than becoming overcrowded HMOs.

As the relevant portfolio holder I have taken the contributions I have read and heard very seriously and there is still much to read and hear. The issue of anti-social behaviour and private tenancies was a key theme of the council’s award-winning report on the impact of migration. We took considerable evidence during the consultation process and it was agreed as one of the recommendations that we would fully explore the options for dealing with the complex issues that we and our local communities identified.

We are committed to doing something to address the links between migration and some types of anti-social behaviour; particularly that aided and abetted by landlords happy to overcrowd people into poorly maintained or substandard property. It is important to reassure all local people, landlords, tenants and all other residents, that the council takes the process of consultation very seriously and the phrase ‘done deal’ does not apply. I and the housing team at Boston Borough Council will undertake a full evaluation of the evidence gathered at the consultation, the practical and legal implications of the proposals and the wider financial context for the council.

I think it is worth pointing out that the consultation process we are going through is an important part of the democratic process. A democratic council cares about the views of people and listens. As a result, whatever the outcome of the consultation, we can be confident we have a mandate for the action we take which is taken in the interests of all Bostonians… without fear or favour.

Coun Mike Gilbert

Portfolio Holder for Housing

Boston Borough Council