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Hyndburn housing landlords fight back against licence plan

Housing landlords in Hyndburn are set to challenge the council AGAIN – after a selective licensing scheme was introduced.

PREPARING FOR ACTION: Landlords Chris Peat, David Lewis, Colin Hooper, John Baron and Paul Brown

Housing landlords in Hyndburn are set to challenge the council AGAIN – after a selective licensing scheme was introduced.

The scheme, which came into effect on December 1 and will cover around 4,850 properties in Accrington and Church, including more than 1,500 privately rented properties.

The scheme is aimed at improving the standard of rented properties in the borough and means all landlords in the areas covered will have to apply for a licence before they can rent a home out. Any landlord caught without a licence could face a fine of up to £20,000.

But the Hyndburn Landlords group is unhappy with some of the conditions that will be imposed upon landlords.

They are also unhappy with the £820 fee they will have to pay to apply for a five year licence and are intending to take their fight to a property tribunal.

The threat comes just 18-months after a high court judge quashed a previous licensing scheme for Hyndburn landlords after judicial review, leaving the council with a £100,000 legal bill.

Paul Brown, of Hyndburn Landlords, said: “At this moment in time our position hasn’t really changed. We remain disappointed the council pushed forward with it without taking on board all the representations.

“Myself and every one of my clients have got our applications in reluctantly. We are not the rogue landlords these schemes are targeting.

“We are not happy with the scheme and some of the conditions but we are working with the council to make sure it does at least target the bad landlords and not the good ones.”

The scheme was passed earlier this year by Hyndburn council after consultation had been carried out with landlords, residents and stakeholders.

The deadline for applications passed on December 1. Any landlord found in breach of the licence conditions may also be liable of a fine up to £5,000.

Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard said she was delighted to see the scheme introduced.

She said: “We are really glad this has finally taken effect. We believe it will improve the lives of residents, tenants and landlords who own properties.

“It will make sure there is a level agreement and standards which have to be reached.

“We are looking forward to working with landlords to improve communities.”

The council said the scheme is part of a wider set of measures to deal with low housing demand.

 
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