Landlords fined in licence crackdown

Coun Gillian Campbell

Coun Gillian Campbell

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Two landlords have landed £700 fines after failing to comply with a new licensing scheme.

Christopher Calland, of Mains Lane, Singleton and David Campbell Mackay of Breck Road, Poulton, failed to attend court after being summonsed on a charge of not having their properties licensed under a new scheme.

The cases against them were proved in their absence and the pair were also ordered to pay a £70 surcharge and £350 legal costs.

They were charged under Blackpool Council’s South Beach selective licensing scheme, which requires all privately rented properties in the South Shore area to have a licence and for landlords to show they manage their properties effectively.

The scheme was set up to drive up property standards in the South Shore area, where the scheme is currently in force.

But while 99 per cent of landlords (817 of 828) have licensed their properties, a minority of them have failed to comply.

Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member with responsibility housing, (pictured) said: “A total of 99 per cent of landlords in South Beach are now licensed and the Selective Licensing scheme is working very well.

“It is making an enormous difference in the area and is helping to start to drive up management standards and to address issues of anti social behaviour through our inspection schedule and work with landlords.

“However, there are a limited number of people who have not co-operated with the scheme and, as a result, we have taken action.

“I hope this will send a message that Blackpool Council is using a determined and stringent approach to improving private rented housing.

“I hope it also shows the landlords who have worked with us that we will not allow those who have refused to do so to get away with it.”

But Paul Bamber, who chairs the Fylde Coast Landlords’ Association, has called on the council to think about alternative options when it comes to driving up standards among landlords.

He said: “They say crime has fallen over the last 18 months and I’ve not got anything that was say something to the contrary.

“That said, you can achieve the council’s goal by other means such as a council backed accreditation scheme and the proper enforcing of the existing legislation.”