A comprehensive consultation on plans to radically improve living standards in four designated parts of the borough begins next week.The areas identified for the Selective Licensing scheme fall within Birkenhead South, Egerton North, Seacombe Library and Egrement Promenade South.
Cabinet members were advised last week that one in three properties within Wirral’s private rented sector fail to meet the ‘decent homes’ standard, having a detrimental impact on the health and welfare of local communities. Some areas of Wirral have a vulnerable housing market with high numbers of vacant properties and low house prices and rental values.
A Selective Licensing scheme would require landlords in certain areas to purchase a license from the Council and commit to meeting certain requirements, including bringing their property up to a good standard, in order to be legally allowed to put the their homes on the rental market.
The Introduction of a scheme in specific, targeted areas would help to stabilise these neighbourhoods by declaring an intention to drive up property management practice and property standards in the private rented sector as well as helping to solve other issues contributing to low demand within a neighbourhood.
Cllr George Davies, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Engagement said: “Many landlords act responsibly and Wirral has worked in partnership over a number of years to drive up standards through the Landlord Accreditation Scheme where in total 3,752 properties have been accredited. Whilst this is impressive we need to do more specifically where there are high levels of poorly managed properties.
“These properties blight our communities and encourage anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and low demand. Families in Wirral deserve the opportunity to rent their homes from a rental market which is regulated, of good quality and from a landlord they can be confident in. We believe introducing a scheme such as this will play a major part in achieving this.”
A variety of methods will be used as part of the consultation to engage with a range of stakeholders including tenants, residents, landlords, service providers, council staff, members and National and Regional Landlord organisations. It is proposed to undertake some specific detailed targeted consultation with those landlord, tenants and stakeholders who directly live or operate in the proposed Selective Licensing areas or those immediately in the surrounding areas.
If you Live in the area and want to be involved or learn more about landlord licensing, please do not hesitate to join our mailing list here - http://liverpool.generationrent.org/join