Residents in West Bromwich are being urged to give their views on proposals to introduce two new licensing schemes for private landlords who rent properties in and around the High Street and town centre areas.
The consultation – which runs until Sunday 5 April – gives residents and landlords the chance to give their views on the two schemes to improve housing conditions and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour problems.
The one scheme – selective licensing – would see landlords of all privately rented properties in the specified area applying for a licence from the council. They would also need to meet minimum management and property standards, helping to protect landlords, tenants and residents.
The second scheme – additional licensing – would mean that landlords of any house in multiple occupation or HMO also applying for a licence from the council, unless they already hold a mandatory HMO licence.
In areas where additional and selective licensing applies, landlords must apply for a one-off licence for each house they let, and meet various licensing conditions.
The views of local residents – including tenants, landlords, managing agents, businesses and other members of the local community – are being sought on plans to bring in the scheme which would affect around 3,000 private-rented properties.
Residents in the area are being urged to complete either an online questionnaire or a postal questionnaire they would have received.
A number of drop-in sessions are also being held for the public and landlords during the ten-week consultation.
Designated streets in and around West Bromwich High Street and the town centre have been identified as areas that would see significant benefits – such as improved housing conditions, less crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as improving the image and perception of the area – if licensing was introduced.
Councils can introduce licensing under the Housing Act 2004, to tackle issues such as low housing demand, significant anti-social behaviour, poor property conditions, migration, high levels of deprivation or high levels of crime.
The consultation which runs until Sunday 5 April is available on online at www.sandwell.gov.uk/salconsultation
The results will be reported back to the council’s Cabinet later in the year.
Drop-in sessions for the public are:
• Tuesday 10 March at West Bromwich Leisure Centre, Moor Street, West Bromwich from 7pm-8.30pm
• Wednesday 11 March at Central Library West Bromwich, 316 High Street, West Bromwich from 12noon-2pm
• Tuesday 17 March at West Bromwich Leisure Centre, Moor Street, West Bromwich from 7pm-8.30pm
• Friday 20 March at Wood Lane Community Centre, 157 Wood Lane, West Bromwich from 4pm-5pm
• Monday 23 March at West Bromwich Job Centre, High Street, West Bromwich from 10am-12noon
• Monday 30 March at Court House – ground floor reception – 3345-337 High Street, West Bromwich 10am-12noon and 4pm-5pm
Meetings for landlords:
• Friday 20 March at Wood Lane Community Centre, 157 Wood Lane, West Bromwich 6pm-8pm