Selective licensing in Cornwall took a step forward yesterday after a council inquiry recommended that schemes should be launched in five key towns.

If this is taken on board by Cornwall Council then landlords in Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Penzance and Newquay (pictured) will face selective licensing.

The schemes will include over 4,100 properties including 1,753 in Camborne, Pool and Redruth plus 915 in Newquay and 1,463 in Penzance.

These represent approximately 11% of all privately rented properties within Cornwall.

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Property standards

The proposals come from an inquiry into rented property standards by councillors, which has spent a year so far on its deliberations.

Its report says that half of private rented housing in Cornwall does not meet the ‘decent homes’ standard compared to 30% nationally.

As well as proposing selective licensing, the report also urges the council to introduce criminal record (DBS) checks for landlords who run HMOs within the existing additional licensing schemes within Cornwall.

Some 700 landlords across Cornwall have already joined its voluntary Responsible Landlord Scheme, who between them own or manage 10,000 properties.

Other proposals to be considered next week include requesting discretionary power to cap rents within Cornwall, enforcing a minimum tenancy term of three years, and restricting rent rises to no more than inflation.

The report will be considered during a meeting of Cornwall Council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee next week on October 13th.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Cornwall already has a high proportion of renters who have chosen to squander their education leaving them unable to raise themselves above the dead-end, low-paid job. There aren’t that many of those jobs, either. Unwilling to leave the county in pursuit (as their ancestors did) of better opportunities elsewhere, they stay put, claim as much in benefits as possible, and demand all the standards of living which they refuse to earn. Rents in Redruth and Camborne do not rise like large city rents, because there is no economic base (as yet – perhaps this may change if lithium mining and several other industries become successful) and therefore there is no point asking a rent higher than a tenant is prepared to pay. We have not been able to raise rents for several years, despite the mortgages having (until recently, that is, when the pandemonium of coronavirus caused our mortgages to plummet for a change) climbed inexorably up until one at least was almost the same as the rent being asked! Add to that the attitude of Cornwall Council and their Sheriff of Nottingham approach to council-tax collecting, and you will be lucky to make enough money to even keep your property, let alone improve it. The council’s own tenants ruined ours, and we have almost gone bankrupt trying to fix them up again out of our earnings – not the rents, as they do not cover the mortgages whilst we still have property empty and uninhabitable – but we still have to pay council tax on it – double in some cases. My loathing of this county is becoming impossible to bear, and should they insist on trying on a license scheme I certainly won’t be answerable for my actions, once the final straw comes.

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