Scarborough Council backs renewal of property licensing scheme in Scarborough North

Scarborough Council’s Cabinet has expressed its support for the renewal of a selective licensing scheme aimed at improving the conditions of private rented properties.

By Anttoni James Numminen, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:33 pm

The authority’s cabinet unanimously approved plans on July 26, that will progress the renewal of the recently lapsed selective licensing scheme in Scarborough North.

The five-year scheme which ended in June this year seeks to improve the conditions and regulations of private rented properties in the area by requiring landlords to acquire a licence from Scarborough Council before they can let their property.

According to a report on the renewal of the scheme: “The improvements to property conditions and management standards alone have demonstrated the effectiveness of the licensing scheme” as well as having increased the value of properties in the area.

Scarborough Town Hall.

The cabinet member for housing and stronger communities, Cllr Carl Maw, told the cabinet meeting: “Selective licensing is not the be-all and end-all, but it is a very, very useful tool that the council has used to great effect over the past five years.

“As the report shows, it has helped to improve the standards of those private rented accommodations around the town.

"One of the biggest things to point out are the ‘category 1 hazards’, real risks to people’s health and even lives that have been spotted.

“This may not have been done without selective licensing.”

However, the scheme which is currently still in place in Scarborough South and Central, has not been universally popular.

According to the report, a poll conducted among landlords in the area shows that of the 18 per cent who took part in the survey, 68 per cent stated that they would not support a renewal of the scheme.

The responding landlords suggested that private renting and landlords “should be supported and viewed positively” and also said, “incentives would be more effective than regulation”.

The cabinet approved the recommendations for the renewal of the scheme, including a recommendation that council officers “work up the business case and undertake a full public consultation for renewal of the scheme”.

The final decision on the renewal of the scheme is likely to be made by the new North Yorkshire Council which will replace borough councils from April 2023 onwards.