Selective licensing for landlords in Portsmouth to be 'reconsidered'

Landlord licensing in Portsmouth will be reconsidered. Picture: Adobe StockLandlord licensing in Portsmouth will be reconsidered. Picture: Adobe Stock
Landlord licensing in Portsmouth will be reconsidered. Picture: Adobe Stock
MORE will be done to help private renters in Portsmouth to ensure they are living in safe conditions.

During a full council meeting last week councillors backed a pledge to expand on its support for private tenants in the city by exploring more 'stringent' conditions on agreements with landlords.

It comes after the Labour group pressed the administration last year to implement landlord licensing - a move that was voted out at the time.

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Now members have agreed to reconsider selective licensing, along with a range of other measures.

Housing activist Cllr Cal Corkery.
Picture: Habibur RahmanHousing activist Cllr Cal Corkery.
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Housing activist Cllr Cal Corkery. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Debate on landlord licensing to be heard after previous attempts fell through

Speaking at the meeting Labour housing activist, Councillor Cal Corkery, said: 'We know the size of the private rented sector has grown.

'The rapid growth in the number of houses of multiple occupation, has led to a range of issues relating to housing conditions, property management and anti-social behaviour, particularly in areas with high concentrations of privately rented homes.

'We know legislation has changed over the years to make it more regulated but there are still things the council can do differently.

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'I call on the local authority to review its approach to the private rented sector and consider rolling out landlord licensing for more properties.'

Selective licensing requires landlords and letting agents meet 'fit and proper persons' tests in addition to placing responsibilities on them to prove their properties meet decent housing standards.

The council's housing boss, Cllr Darren Sanders, argued that issues such as rent arrears or poor property conditions are not tackled by licensing.

He said that the council is developing a strategy for the private rented sector, which so far includes expanding the rent deposit scheme and introducing a guarantor scheme.

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But he agreed that the cabinet should explore whether more 'stringent conditions' can be put into landlord licensing agreements with regard to property management.

And as an amendment to Cllr Corkery's motion that was voted in he said: 'On that basis, requests cabinet reconsider its decision not to include selective licensing as a policy intervention as part of the private rented sector strategy.'

Residents can have their say on private renting in Portsmouth through a survey until November 11 via

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