A BOROUGH proposes to bring in two new areas for selective landlord licensing while continuing to consider whether to renew the five it already has.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board will on Thursday be asked to start the process of introducing new controls in Ewood and Mill Hill.

The senior councillors are recommended to approve the beginning of formal consultation process with residents, landlords and other parties.

The authority has previously introduced selective landlord licensing in Griffin area of Blackburn and two parts of the Infirmary district as well in two parts of Darwen.

All have now expired and the council is currently considering whether to reimpose some or all of them.

A report by borough environment boss Cllr Jim Smith says: "Selective licensing is intended to address the impact of less engaged private landlords and anti-social tenants.

"It has primarily been developed with the need to tackle problems in areas of low housing demand.

"Low housing demand is where there is a high number of private rented properties, people are moving and only staying for short periods, and house prices and rental prices are low meaning owner occupiers are often in negative equity.

"This results in it being very difficult for a strong community to be developed and maintained.

"In an area subject to selective licensing, all privately-let properties must be licensed and if they are let without being licensed, or fail to comply with licensing conditions, the authority can take enforcement


"The private rented sector is an important and essential part of housing provision and housing choice in the borough.

"Insufficiently managed private rented properties are the source of many problems and place high demands and costs across the council as well as having a disruptive impact on local communities.

"Selective licensing has been particularly successful in increasing rent levels, reducing the time to let properties and reducing vacant properties.

"Whereas the council normally relies of complaints from tenants to address poor housing conditions -with an associated weakness that tenants living in the worst properties (or who have unscrupulous landlords) do not complain for fear of harassment or retaliatory eviction.

"Selective licensing provides an ability to proactively intervene within a designated area.

"A licensing fee of £727 is proposed for the two new areas.

"Approximately 1,00 licence applications are predicted, giving an annual income of approximately £157,000 over a five-year-period.

"The intention is to operate the scheme on a cost neutral basis."