With the change in housing legislation and the emphasis on Housing Authorities and Unitary Councils to license and inspect private housing to ensure it meets the decent homes standard for private lets Councillor Kath Nisbet is concerned that Northumberland County Council may miss the dates set recently by Michael Gove MP. Some Council’s with huge numbers of privately rented homes such as Oxford City Council are well underway to begin licensing landlords from September 2022.
Councillor Nisbet said: “With the recent change in legislation a Council register of ALL landlords and their property is a must. The Council does already have a voluntary register and some very good landlords have registered their properties on it giving the Council the ability to transfer information regarding grant and improvement opportunities quickly to its known landlords.”
“But not all landlords are reasonable and not all property is up to the now to be regulated standard and I worry that many owned and rented out properties will slip through the net unless the Council sets an emergency budget to ensure that cash is available to form the register and that everyone who is letting property are scooped in.” “We also need enough staff employed to continuously inspect the homes for gas and electricity safety and compliance with servicing schedules as well as ensuring once modernised properties aren’t slipping into the slum category”.
“Northumberland Labour Group will scrutinise this process to ensure the Council gets it right and we will also be demanding to know how things are progressing and if properties such as school caretakers homes, large estates stock, rentals managed by estate agents and those renting out deceased parents or relatives properties privately to boost their incomes are also on the register and inspected”.