Sheffield is considering a city-wide selective licensing scheme, and therefore giving the definition of “selective” a thorough stretch of the imagination! This has come in response to demands from a pressure group claiming it’s necessary because they’ve seen “landlords refusing to fix mould, not lodging deposits and executing revenge evictions”.
In our experience from working with landlords in Sheffield, this does not appear an accurate reflection of the state of the rental market, although we will always acknowledge there are isolated instances, and there will always be bad practitioners in any industry.
Like many other areas around the UK, this would see all landlords required to register and license their rental properties. The fee for this can range between £500 and £750 and would be payable every five years.
The undertaking from the council was made by Neighbourhoods and Communities Councilor Paul Wood following a question by an Acorn representative during the most recent meeting of the council.
Councilor Paul Wood re-affirmed that the city council takes landlords and the quality of their housing very seriously, and that his department had introduced a council-accredited landlord scheme and was about to invest heavily in enforcement after years of under-funding.
During the meeting it was also stated that a working group was looking at extending the city’s selective licensing scheme and would consider both the additional costs and establish which areas most needed selective licensing.
The promise by Sheffield to examine a city-wide scheme is an example of the growing influence of Acorn, which has expanded geographically and in influence recently, allowing them to change from tackling individual cases of rogue landlord activity to wider policy-driven campaigning.
Sheffield already has selective licensing in three areas of the city which were introduced in late 2018.
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