New licensing scheme approved for Hexthorpe

Ros Jones.  Picture: Andrew Roe
Ros Jones. Picture: Andrew Roe

A controversial new licensing scheme where landlords could be fined up to £20,000 for anti-social behaviour problems has been given the green light.

The ‘selective licensing scheme’ for Hexthorpe – which has been blighted by community tensions in recent months – was rubber stamped at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

Mayor Ros Jones said: “This is about sorting out the problems we are facing in Hexthorpe.

“There has been a wide consultation and the public and landlords are being listened to.”

Residents, landlords, managing agents and businesses were asked about the plans in a three-month consultation exercise. Under the new rules all private sector landlords will have to apply for a £500 licence for each rented property – which would last for five years.

During the consultation landlords raised concerns including rent hikes as a result of them being forced to pass on the licence cost to tenants, and mortgage companies failing to lend in the town.

Carl Agar, the National Landlord Association representative and the managing director of Big Red House, said previously: “I have personally spoken to my contacts in the banking sector and quite simply at a local level they advised that if their valuers identify that a property is within such an area then it is highly unlikely that a mortgage would be granted as the property would pose too great a risk to the bank.”