Firstly let me say that COVEN believe that this is a good area with many good people living here however it has in recent years experienced some severe problems, but at the heart of most of the problems faced by our community has been uncaring absentee landlords who rented out property to anyone, with no thought for the affect these sometimes bad or troubled tenants might have on the other residents of the area.
Bad tenants contributed substantially to a high level of anti social behaviour and dragged down the property values making the houses ever cheaper for the same bad landlords to snap up.
However last October a Selective Licensing Scheme was brought in covering Cross Green and parts of East End Park. Poor quality, badly maintained housing and absentee landlords were making the living conditions for their neighbours quite unbearable and something quite clearly had to be done.
Not all the landlords in the area were bad or uncaring but a small proportion certainly were and it was at these people that this scheme was specifically aimed. The new scheme required accommodation of a minimum safe standard to be provided and also a certain standard of previous good conduct from any landlord operating in the designated area. Whilst landlords with a Selective License are not be made responsible for the actions of their tenants, but they are expected to take action if they know that their tenants are causing a problem.
COVEN have had an ongoing dialogue with the Head of Selective Licensing, Linda Sherwood, and her department since before the Scheme was introduced and we strongly support its work and both ourselves and the Selective Licencing Scheme are always eager to hear from residents if an address in the designated area is causing a problem.
A list of all the Selective Licensed properties is published on the council's website where you can check the status of a property and this list is regularly updated. We are told that more prosecutions may follow in the near future which is good news as only tough enforcement will make the bad landlords think twice about trying to operate in the area without a Selective License.
We take our hats of to Linda and her team in getting the scheme up and running, it has been a huge project but it is a small but vital step in the regeneration of this area. We also want to thank our councillors Brett and Pryke (Lib Dem) who started the process and our MP Hilary Benn (Labour) who all played their part in getting the scheme going.
We've made a positive start in taking back our area and we intend to keep up the good work!