We previously reported that North Somerset Council were intorucing selective licensing within an area of Westone-super-Mare from 1 November 2016.

We then reported that landlords were banding together to instigate legal action against the intoroduction of the licensing scheme.

It seems that this threat of legal action has pursuaded the local authority to stop the introduction and they have published the following statement on their website:

North Somerset Council recently decided to introduce a licensing scheme to improve poor-quality private rented housing in Weston-super-Mare town centre, following a 20-week consultation period.

This has been challenged by some local landlords who have suggested a number of other alternatives which the council has decided to consider. As a result the original scheme which was due to begin on 1 November this year, will not be progressed with.

The council remains committed to driving up the standards of privately rented housing across North Somerset. Once the additional feedback provided by landlords has been considered, a further review of the options available to the improve the condition of privately rented homes will be carried out.

In the meantime the council will continue to work with landlords to improve housing conditions for all tenants and would like to remind landlords of their legal duty to ensure the homes they let are well managed and free from serious hazards. More information about the required standards can be found at www.privatehousinginformation.co.uk.

This is excellent news for landlords in the area and hopefully the local authority will seriously consider alternatives.

For example, other authorities have decided to adopt accreditation instead of additional or selective licensing and the Guild has been working with a number in this regard. It is submitted that this is a better way of working with landlords rather than punishing them. In reality a licensing scheme only punishes good landlords whereas bad landlords don’t bother with a licence (and rarely get prosecuted for their failure).