The Selective Licensing scheme has been scrapped by Telford & Wrekin Council after more than 900 people replied to a consultation.
Cllr Nicola Lowery, Ward Member for the Ironbridge Gorge and one of several Conservative Cllrs who campaigned against the proposal for Selective Licensing said: “I greatly welcome the proposal of a more proactive approach from the Council in applying their existing powers and their decision not to proceed with the proposal for selective licensing. To introduce selective licensing at this stage would have been extremely damaging for reputable, good landlords and done little to improve housing standards, as there are existing sanctions available to tackle 'rogue' landlords and ensure properties are adequately maintained.
“When considering whether to make a selective licensing designation a local housing authority should consider if there are any other courses of action available to it that would achieve the same objective. Sadly, Telford & Wrekin Council prior to consulting on Selective Licencing took minimal enforcement action on the powers they currently hold, which demonstrated that further action was needed and failed to fully consider the how the change in Government legislation on Home of Multiple Occupation (HMO) would introduce mandatory licensing to all HMOs this October to address the existing issues.
“The Wrekin Landlord Association has been working very constructively with the Local Authority and their proactive approach has greatly influenced this decision and lead to a highly positive outcome, which must be commended. The Conservative Group on Telford & Wrekin Council heavily opposed the introduction of Selective Licensing and I certainly welcome the decision not to adopt the scheme to ensure that standards of housing in the private sector are improved to protect our residents and the most vulnerable.
“In April 2018 the change to the Homelessness Reduction Act will place significantly increased duties on local housing authorities. There are many landlords within Telford that provide housing to those sadly affected by homelessness and Telford is heavily reliant on the Private rented sector to deliver this, therefore it is important that the Council begins to form stronger working relationships with private landlords”.