Issue - meetings

Proposal to Consult on Selective Licensing Scheme

Meeting: 17/07/2023 - Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee (Item 18)

18 Proposal to Consult on Selective Licensing Scheme pdf icon PDF 485 KB

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The Strategic Housing Services Senior Manager introduced the report of the Director of Regeneration and Place which set out a proposal to consult on a Selective Licensing Scheme in Wirral through re-designating two Selective Licensing areas that have been in place since 2019 and are due to end on 31st March 2024 and extending the scheme to include two further new areas, both in East Wirral based on a robust evidence base for selection.


Councillors requested further information on the conditions found in rental properties that would not meet the Selective Licensing conditions, what the scope might be for inclusion of further areas in the scheme, how close Wirral was to requiring a borough wide approach to Selective Licensing and whether a banning order applied borough-wide to a landlord that had significantly breached licensing conditions in one of the Selective Licensing areas.


Members also raised concerns over an increase in older tenants and the risks to them regarding being able to afford rent. Officers noted that some very poor conditions in tenanted properties had been discovered and that support was available to those that needed it. Further areas for inclusion could be looked at in future but currently resources dictated how many areas could be managed at one time. It was noted that finances and credibility over the case presented to central government were factors in how areas were chosen for the Selective Licensing Scheme.


It was confirmed that a banning order was enforceable borough wide and that information on banned landlords was publicly available. Officers noted that there was currently no published data on older tenants but that they received feedback from the Healthy Homes team and referrals were made to any tenants that needed support to remain homed.


Resolved - That


1.   The draft proposal for Selective Licensing be approved in the following four areas from 1st April 2024 until 31st March 2029:


·  Birkenhead West;

·  Seacombe St Paul’s;

·  Bidston and St James West; and

·  Egremont North;


2.  The Business Case set out in Appendix One to the report be approved as the basis for the rationale for wider consultation on Selective Licensing;


3.  The consultation plan as set out in Appendix Three of the Business Case be approved; and


4.  The Director of Regeneration and Place be authorised to undertake any minor amendments to the Business Case should further evidence be made available which should be included in the consultation.