Boston landlord licensing plans to tackle anti-social behaviour

To Let sign
Image caption The National Landlord Association said there was no need for new rules

A Lincolnshire council is planning to introduce a licensing system for landlords to crack down on anti-social behaviour at their properties.

Boston Borough Council said the licenses, which could cost upwards of £490, would help tackle disruption and low-quality housing.

It said there was a link between anti-social behaviour and poor property management.

The National Landlord Association said it could put up costs for good tenants.

Gavin Dick, from the association, said: "There's over 100 pieces of legislation that landlords have to comply with that the council can use to drive out criminal landlords.

"We would encourage the council to use current legislation rather than imposing more costs on good landlords which will be passed through to tenants and increase the cost of accommodation in Boston."

'Sleepless nights'

But Kevin Martin, the lead of housing projects at Boston Borough Council, said landlords needed to take responsibility for anti-social behaviour that happens within their property.

"Crime and anti-social behaviour figures in Boston are one and a half times higher than the average for Lincoln, so it's serious enough to present a problem and hence the council's initiative around licensing," he said.

The council said some Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO), which can be a house split into bedsits or a flat where each tenant has their own tenancy agreement, are a big problem and have resulted in anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance and a build up of refuse.

It said this was linked to the failure of some private landlords and why a licensing system was required.

One woman, who did not want to be named but has been affected by noisy neighbours, said landlords should take more responsibility.

She said: "I've been stressed, I've lost weight, I have sleepless nights, I've gone to bed and put ear plugs in as music is played into the early hours of the morning.

"I've had the police out twice. They don't take notice of the police either."

Consultation about the plans will take place from November to January before a decision is made.

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