Wisbech landlords will have to prove they are ‘fit and proper’ to get a license - have your say on the new scheme

Good kitchen

Good kitchen - Credit: Archant

Local people, tenants and residents will have a say on a new landlords’ licensing plan which would affect over 2,000 properties in Wisbech.

Bad kitchen

Bad kitchen - Credit: Archant

The 10-week consultation, which begins on Monday, will discuss ways to tackle problems concerning rented housing in Wisbech. It aims to drive out rogue landlords, put a stop to overcrowding and end the exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers.

Fenland District Council is planning to introduce the scheme in seven of the town’s wards; including Clarkson, Kirkgate, Medworth, Octavia Hill, Peckover, Staithe and Waterlees Village.

The scheme would mean all private sector landlords in the designated area would have to show they are “fit and proper” persons to hold a licence and comply with all normal standards, including having the necessary safety measures in place. Licences would last for five years and cost £575 for a single household let and £750 for a house in multiple occupation.

Councillor Will Sutton, FDC’s cabinet member responsible for housing, said: “We know that some people are currently living in very poor conditions and there are significant issues of crime and antisocial behaviour that are closely linked to that.”

The first public consultation event will be in Wisbech Market Place next Thursday (March 3), from 10am to 3pm. Others are scheduled there for March 17 and April 28.

There will also be drop-in sessions at the Rosmini Centre (April 1 and 15 and May 6) and at the council’s Fenland @ your service shop (March 14, April 11 and April 25).

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Local landlords are invited to two meetings at the Boathouse (March 23 and April 21) and there are also plans for a meeting with representatives of the National Landlords Association.

Letters are also being sent to landlords, agents and residents in the affected wards, encouraging them to respond.

The consultation will run until May 8. The results will go to FDC’s Cabinet in June.

To have your say online, visit www.fenland.gov.uk/selectivelicensing from Monday and paper copies of the survey form will be available at the consultation events.