The conclusions and recommendations of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel were outlined following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of Selective Landlord Licensing.
The Chair of the panel commented that the panel were keen to investigate the issue as, in some cases, private rented properties were seen as a contributory factor to Anti Social Behaviour. The model of Selective Landlord Licensing adopted in North Ormesby was the focus of the panel's investigation.
It was noted that a wide range of external and internal witnesses were used during the course of the investigation and that the use of Selective Landlord Licensing supports the Mayors vision of creating a Safer and Strong Middlesbrough and leads to the Council's core priority of social regeneration.
The Chair also commented that North Omresby was unique in its approach to Slective Licensing and the residents should be applauded for their efforts and partnership working. The model in North Ormesby was excellent and should be rolled out to the next area.
The Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel recommended to the Executive:
The Panel are passionate and extremely complimentary of the Selective Licensing model in North Ormesby. The Panel recommends that the next roll-out of the scheme mirrors this model to ensure its success.
That the Panel be updated on a six monthly basis on the scheme, and informed once a decision is made on the next area for Selective Licensing.
That a "step by step" guide on Selective Licensing be developed in conjunction with the Ward Councillor(s), tenants, landlords and community of North Ormesby . This should include practical information, timescales of Selective Licensing and benefits of the scheme. Once produced, this should be shared with new licensees/ tenants, the BIG Local, North Ormesby Community Council and included on Middlesbrough Councils website and displayed within North Ormesby Community Hub.
That the Panel receives a full evaluation of the scheme towards the end of 2020. Dependant on the outcome and need, the Panel recommends that the Council reapplies for North Ormesby to be designed for a second time. The Panel is aware that is it difficult to comment at this stage until a full evaluation has been completed. If North Ormesby does not fit the criteria set out by the Housing Act 2004 for re-designation, the Panel would like to be consulted regarding the exit strategy and future plans for North Ormesby.
That a standard set of license conditions be developed by the Selective License Forum and adopted and utilised in the second roll out (proviso to include additional conditions to fit the demand and problems within a specific area.)
That a voluntary accreditation scheme be developed for Middlesbrough Landlords. This would be rolled-out town-wide.
That the services offered by the Public Protection Team in relation to Regulation of Housing Standards and Enforcement be publicised in the Love Middlesbrough Magazine.
That during the second roll-out of Selective Licensing, funding be allocated from existing resources to employ additional staff (as required) to carry out inspections.
That the Panel be updated in six months time in relation to community safety.
A member queried when the next roll out was likely to happen and if there was anything that was preventing this.
The Chair of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel agreed to provide the Board with the requested information.
A member queried if, given limited funds available for Selective Licensing, the Chairs of OSB and Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel could write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government highlighting the best practice experienced locally, recommend the scheme be rolled out nationally and that sufficient funds be made available for this.
1. That the findings and recommendations of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.
2. The date of the next roll out of Selective Landlord Licensing be circulated to OSB.
3. That the Chairs of OSB and Culture and Communities write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government recommending the scheme be rolled out nationally.