Landlords in Fenland should pay for inspections rather than leaving the area’s Council Tax payers to pick up the bill says councillor

PUBLISHED: 09:38 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 27 February 2017

Cllr Will Sutton, Fenland District Council's cabinet member for  neighbourhood planning.

Cllr Will Sutton, Fenland District Council's cabinet member for neighbourhood planning.

Archant

A councillor described Fenland District Council’s decision to scrap the introduction of landlord licensing in some areas of Wisbech as ‘devastating’.

Speaking at Thursday’s (23) full council meeting Councillor Virginia Bucknor raised the issue and said: “First of all I was devastated - and I don’t use that word lightly - that after a year’s work by cabinet members, officers and consultation with residents, at a secret meeting Conservative councillors decided that selective licensing will not go ahead.”

Selective licensing of landlords was being looked at for some areas of Wisbech in a bid to crackdown on rogue landlords and to offer tenants better protection by ensuring properties are fit to live in.

She said the move to scrap licensing will have a “serious, serious” impact on Wisbech residents both those that live in houses of multiple occupation and those who live in the general area of such properties.

Cllr Bucknor also pointed out that a lack of resources meant only two houses in HMOs were inspected in December.

Councillor Will Sutton, portfolio holder for neighbourhood planning, agreed there was a lack of resources and said this was partly down to staff sickness.

However, Cllr Bucknor also argued that Fenland Council tax payers should not be funding this work and said that those making profits from HMOs should pay for it, which would help boost resources.

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