People are being asked for their views on the possible introduction of licensing for private sector rented housing in some parts of Leeds.
The city's private rented housing sector has expanded rapidly in recent years, showing how important the market is in meeting housing needs.
A lot of effort is put in by the council, partners and stakeholders, to tackle deprivation across Leeds, as parts of the city, such as Beeston and Harehills, do not fare as well as others.
As a result of these inequalities the council is considering introducing selective licensing in parts of Beeston and Harehills to help improve the management of private rented homes and to help ensure tenants benefit from living in a safe, comfortable and secure home.
If introduced in Leeds, selective licensing would mean that every home let by a private landlord within a defined area will need a licence from the council. Each licence would have conditions attached that the licence holder would have to meet.
Mark Ireland, the council's service manager for private sector housing, said:
“Selective licensing schemes can also help create communities and places where people want to live, play, work and stay. The council is consulting on the proposal for selective licensing in parts of Beeston and Harehills. Everyone with an interest in the areas: residents, landlords, businesses and partners will be provided with information regarding the proposal."
The council's Community Hubs in the areas - the Compton Centre and Dewsbury Road - will have information available to take away and read for those not online. The consultation runs from August 1 until October 31.
Cllr Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities, said:
“A priority for the council is to improve the quality of housing across the city and make sure private rented homes are well managed by landlords. This is why we’re considering introducing selective licensing in parts of Beeston and Harehills.
“We really want to hear your views on these selective licensing proposals and want as many people as possible to have their say.”
More information on selective licensing, including how to have your say, can be found at the following link: www.leeds.gov.uk/selectivelicensing
Notes for editors
- Beeston and Harehills have seen an increase over recent years in the number of people living there, making them two of the most densely populated areas in the country.
- The last 10 years has seen a significant increase in people living in the private rented sector in Beeston and Harehills, such that it is now the main provider of homes in both areas.
For a number of years, the council has operated an accreditation scheme for landlords in Leeds. Whilst very successful in some areas, it has not been successful across the city.
More recently, the council has supported the Leeds Rental Standard in the city. This is a self-regulation scheme run by the sector, for the sector as a means to recognise good landlords in the market. Like previous accreditation schemes, however, it has not consistently been taken up by landlords in Beeston and Harehills.
More information on selective licensing in the private sector can be found on this government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/selective-licensing-in-the-private-rented-sector-a-guide-for-local-authorities