Tyne & Wear

Newcastle landlords licensing plan scaled back

Chestnut Avenue, Cowgate Image copyright Google
Image caption Proposed selective licensing areas include Cowgate, Scotswood Village and the East and West ends

A rented housing crackdown has been scaled back after complaints from private landlords.

Newcastle City Council's proposed licensing scheme would have required landlords of 18,500 properties to pay up to £750 or face a heavy penalty.

Opponents said it unfairly targeted private landlords and covered a "disproportionately large" area.

The council said it had listened to concerns raised during consultation "on the scale and size of the scheme".

"The reduction retains the areas with the highest concentration of private rented and issues with housing condition, anti-social behaviour and property management," a spokesman said.

The council is permitted to impose the smaller scheme itself, while the original plan needed approval from the government, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Problem zones

The authority hopes stricter oversight of irresponsible landlords in problem areas will tackle poor housing standards and reduce anti-social behaviour.

The revised scheme includes 5,500 fewer properties than planned.

So-called "additional licences" will be required for 9,377 shared houses across the city and "selective licences" will be needed for a further 3,664 rented properties in five problem zones - the East End, the West End, Cowgate, Scotswood Village, and Denton Burn.

Two existing selective licensing schemes in South Benwell and Byker will continue until the end of their current finish dates before being reviewed.

More than 24,000 homes in the city are privately let and the council said it received about 1,200 complaints a year.

The authority's cabinet is expected to approve the plans on Monday.

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