Scarborough Council backs scheme to improve quality of private rented accommodation in parts of town

A licensing scheme to improve the quality of private rented accommodation in parts of Scarborough’s Weaponness and Ramshill ward has secured the approval of Scarborough Council.

The area of the Scarborough South scheme which aims to improve the quality of private rented accommodation.

The authority’s full council yesterday gave its unanimous support to the introduction of the ‘Scarborough South’ scheme following a public consultation.

The council brought in the compulsory selective licensing scheme which requires landlords of properties to apply to the authority for a licence for areas in the north of the town in 2017.

The central part of Scarborough was then added to the scheme last year.

The licence, which costs £550 for the first one, requires landlords to meet a range of licensing conditions including a current gas safety certificate if there is gas in the property, working smoke alarms and safe electrical appliances.

They must have suitable tenancy agreements and appropriate management arrangements in place, including those for dealing with anti-social behaviour and security.

Proposed licence holders and managers are also be required to prove that they are “fit and proper” persons.

Close to 1,000 licences have already been issued in the north of Scarborough and hundreds of homes and properties have been inspected with thousands of hazards and issues found.

A total of 72% of almost 350 people who took part in the consultation between January and March, either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to introduce the scheme to the south of the town.

The consultation included residents in the streets immediately surrounding the scheme’s designated area.

In contrast, just 35% of landlords who responded to the consultation agreed with the proposals.

The Scarborough South scheme will be delivered in partnership with the Community Impact Team, which includes the council’s Community Safety Team, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

It is estimated that there are 550 licensable properties within the proposed area of designation and it could generate a total fee income of £334,000 for the council.

In these circumstances, legislation sets out that approval from the Secretary of State is required and, as such, the council is anticipating that the earliest the Scarborough South scheme could be introduced is February 2021.

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