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New scheme to improve private rental housing moves forward

16 January 2023

A new scheme to improve private rental housing in Peterborough could soon be submitted to the Government.

At its meeting today (Monday), Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet agreed to push forward with a revised selective licensing scheme.

Selective licensing requires landlords to apply for a five-year licence to prove their accommodation meets certain standards.

The original scheme ran from December 2016 in 22 different areas of the city and resulted in several improvements, including 284 properties where serious hazards have been corrected and a reduction in anti-social behaviour.

Analysis of the private rental sector in Peterborough has shown that approximately 9,000 more properties across 24 places now fit the criteria for selective licensing, which include high anti-social behaviour and crime, poor property conditions and high deprivation.

The proposed new scheme would incorporate 39.75% of all private rental properties in the city. It would see three areas under the original scheme removed and an additional five areas now included. The selective licensing scheme would be cost neutral to the council.

Moreover, the Cabinet has agreed to analyse a potential additional licensing scheme covering three and four bedroom rental properties in Peterborough with shared amenities. There are believed to be up to 2,000 such properties, and the introduction of an ALS would also help regulate properties which are not covered by selective licensing.

Cllr Marco Cereste, cabinet member for climate change, planning, housing and transport, said: “Selective licensing has been a big success since we introduced it in 2016 with an improvement in the quality of private rental accommodation and a reduction in anti-social behaviour.

“As a result, we have seen widespread demand for selective licensing to be introduced across Peterborough, but we can only apply for a scheme in areas which meet certain criteria. We believe the revised scheme covers as many properties as possible.

“We know there are many good landlords out there, but unfortunately there are still some whose properties do not meet basic standards, and we know poor housing can have a massive impact on a person’s health which is why we are determined to take action.”

The proposed selective licensing scheme will now be voted on by Full Council. If agreed it will be sent to the Secretary of State for their approval.