Friday, July 21, 2006

Selective licensing - not the sexiest phrase in the book but the impact is huge

I took the opportunity of my maiden speech at my first proper full council meeting to call for "selective licensing" of landlords in Kensington and Fairfield.

Did you know that the 2004 Housing Act allows for licensing of landlords in areas of low housing demand and/or high anti-social behaviour? No, neither did I.

In a nutshell, local councils have the power, should they choose to take it, to agree to licence private landlords in a given area and oblige them to think about the impact of the behaviour of their tenants in the local community.

Now if you, like me, represent a ward with high levels of ASB and little demand for housing, your ears will be pricking up about now.

Imagine it, those bad landlords who dont give a monkeys who they let their properties to, let alone what happens after the rent is paid, being made to manage their tenants. It is fantastic. I am only sorry I did not hear about it before!

Equally wonderful is the idea that said landlords should provide safety checks on their white goods, a working smoke alarm and a safe environment for their tenants.

I am going to work as hard as I can to bring this "selective licensing of landlords" to Kensington and Fairfield, local people are crying out for a move like this, how great it is that our Labour government is ahead of us in putting the law in place. Now we have to bring it here and make it happen!

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