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Consultation on licensing of privately rented homes in some areas of the county


We are proposing to introduce selective licensing into the county to help to improve the standard of privately rented properties.

Background

We have been given powers by government to bring in selective licensing schemes for areas of privately rented housing where there is one or more of the following:

  • low demand for housing
  • a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour
  • poor property conditions
  • high levels of migration
  • high levels of deprivation
  • high levels of crime

We are committed to improving the quality and management of privately rented properties within the County. We believe that selective licensing will allow us to make the improvements to housing and communities, along with our Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme and homelessness and housing strategies.

Find out more about selective licensing.

What we are proposing

From the data we have collected, we are proposing to introduce a licensing scheme in a number of identified areas across the county where we believe one or more of the conditions are met. This would cover approximately 51,000 properties.

The evidence report includes detailed technical data, area profiles (why some areas are in or out of the scheme), the proposed conditions and fees.

How it may affect you

  • landlords: will need to apply and pay for a licence of approximately £500 for each residential property they rent out in each designated area, and show they have adequate management arrangements in place, are a fit and proper person, follow the licence conditions, and help to deal with anti-social behaviour in their properties. The licence is renewable every five years, and if they don't have a licence or breach the licence conditions, they could be fined or taken to court.
  • tenants: if the rental property is in one of the proposed areas, the landlord will need to apply and pay for a licence and ensure your property is well managed
  • communities: well managed and maintained housing should lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour and improvements for local communities

Licensing conditions

Every licence must contain certain mandatory conditions and we can include additional conditions. These are:

  • mandatory licence conditions (eg gas safety, electrical appliances and furniture safety, smoke and carbon monoxide detection, tenancy agreements and references)
  • conditions around the tenancy management (eg tenancy deposits, access to property, rent payments and documentation)  
  • conditions around property management (examples include ensuring the property is safe, secure and maintained, energy performance, and removal of waste)
  • conditions around complaints of anti-social behaviour

Which areas are covered under the proposals

You can either use a map or a spreadsheet to look up which areas are being proposed. If you are having problems using them, please contact us for further help.

Have your say

The deadline for comments is 5.00pm on Sunday 24 May 2020.

DateTimeLocationEvent type
17 February2.00pm to 4.00pmCrook customer access pointresident drop-in
20 February1.00pm to 3.00pmEasington libraryresident drop-in
21 February2.00pm to 4.00pmSpennymoor libraryresident drop-in
24 February10.00am to 12.00pmSeaham libraryresident drop-in
26 February3.00pm to 5.00pm - booking essential.
Book online for landlord meeting at Shotton Hall.
Shotton Halllandlord meeting
28 February2.00pm to 4.00pmBlackhall Colliery libraryresident drop-in
3 March11.00am to 1.00pmConsett libraryresident drop-in
9 March11.00am to 1.00pmChester-le-Street Libraryresident drop-in
10 March1.00pm to 3.00pmWoodhouse Close library (Bishop Auckland)resident drop-in
12 March10.00am to 12.00pmWingate libraryresident drop-in
12 March2.00pm to 4.00pmEsh Winning Libraryresident drop-in
13 March2.00pm to 4.00pmHorden Libraryresident drop-in
11 May11.30am to 1.30pmThornley Libraryresident drop-in
12 May10.00am to 12.00pmMurton Libraryresident drop-in
12 May6.00pm to 8.00pm - booking essential.
Book online for first landlord meeting at The Durham Centre.
The Durham Centrelandlord meeting
13 MayClayport Library (Durham City)Clayport Library (Durham City)resident drop-in
15 May10.30am to 12.30pmShotton Libraryresident drop-in
15 May1.30am to 3.30pmPeterlee Libraryresident drop-in
18 May10.00am to 12.00pmStanley Libraryresident drop-in
18 May12.30pm to 2.30pmSacriston Libraryresident drop-in
19 May10.30am to 12.30pmWheatley House
Durham
DH6 3JX
resident drop-in
19 May1.30am to 3.30pmTrimdon Libraryresident drop-in
21 May10.00am to 12.00pmFerryhill Instituteresident drop-in
21 May6.00pm to 8.00pm - booking essential.
Book online for second landlord meeting at The Durham Centre.
The Durham Centrelandlord meeting
22 May11.00am to 1.00pmShildon Libraryresident drop-in
22 May1.30am to 3.30pmNewton Aycliffe Libraryresident drop-in

Next steps

We will look at the feedback and the results, and make a decision on whether to go ahead with a selective licensing scheme. If this is to happen, we need to agree the area boundaries and submit a business case to the Secretary of State for approval.

Contact us
Selective licensing
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