Blackburn with Darwen is consulting on a new selective licensing scheme for landlords of privately rented properties on the edge of its main town centre.

If approved the proposal would mean such houses and flats in the Hollins Bank area would require a licence.

The designated area is just outside of the town centre and extends predominately across Ewood and Mill Hill and Moorgate wards, with a very small area of Blackburn central ward also included.

The area covers some previously licensed locations in Infirmary and Griffin.

Council bosses believe the new scheme would:

  • improve the management of the private rented stock in the area;
  • increase the value of properties;
  • reduce the turnover of occupants to create sustainable communities;
  • reduce the number of vacant properties and the length of time they remain empty;
  • reduce the levels of anti-social behaviour; and
  • reduce the level of fly-tipping.

If the scheme is approved the licence would cost £724 for up to five years.

It would require the licence holder to provide valid tenancy agreements, rent receipts, safety certificates, and references on tenants before issuing a tenancy agreement.

Blackburn with Darwen Council would monitor the agreements to ensure the conditions are being met.

The consultation, which is open to anyone who lives or works in the borough, runs until Friday, July 26.

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said: "The council understands how important it is for all homes in the borough to be safe, warm and affordable and this includes private rented housing.

"It wants to ensure that this sector provides the best possible properties and management services that it can.

"The council believes that selective licensing can help build safer and stronger communities and improve people’s health and well-being.

"The Housing Act 2004 introduced powers for local authorities to implement a selective licensing scheme for part or whole of the borough to tackle neighbourhood decline areas and low housing demand.

"Our main aim is to transform the borough by utilising partnership and enforcement powers, working with landlords, agents, and tenants as well as police. This will result in making the areas successful and well-maintained.

"The council is proposing to operate a selective licensing scheme in the designated area over a five-year period. Selective licensing will benefit all who live, work, invest and visit the area."

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.