Consultation exercise for West End will help council to improve rented housing

Lancaster Town Hall.
Lancaster Town Hall.

Residents, landlords, businesses and organisations in the West End of Morecambe should be on the look-out for a survey dropping through their letterbox asking for people’s views on the introduction of a scheme which will improve the quality of rented accommodation in their area.

Lancaster City Council currently operates a licensing scheme as required by law for particular types of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) located in the district.

Introducing selective and additional licensing will allow the council to extend the benefits of licensing beyond HMOs and improve the management of all privately rented properties in areas which need it the most.

Earlier this year, approval was granted by the city council’s cabinet for the development of a Morecambe Licensing Scheme which would cover the West End of Morecambe.

This would begin with a consultation exercise asking everyone who is likely to be affected by the scheme in this area to offer their views on the proposal.

The area was selected for an initial scheme having the greatest density of private rented property in the district.

The consultation with tenants, landlords, managing agents and other members of the community who live or operate businesses in the West End as well as those in the surrounding area was launched this week with a postal and online survey.

The council will also be holding drop-in sessions at the following locations and where staff will be on hand to answer questions:

*Tuesday October 17, 10am-1pm, West End Impact, Heysham, LA3 1DG

*Saturday October 21, 2-5pm, Stanley’s, Stanley Road, LA3 1UT

*Monday October 23, 9am-noon, More Music, LA3 1QT

*Wednesday October 25, 2-5pm, Morecambe Town Hall, Marine Road, LA4 5AF

*Wednesday November 15, 6-8pm, More Music, LA3 1QT

Coun Andrew Warriner, cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “The private rented sector is the only housing option available to some of the most vulnerable people in our society and in some areas of our district, properties suffer from poor conditions, unfit management and elements of anti-social behaviour.

“The introduction of an extended licensing scheme in Morecambe will offer the opportunity for the council to work in partnership with landlords and managing agents to promote a successful private rented sector as well as take enforcement action against landlords who fail to provide safe and substandard accommodation.

“This, alongside other interventions already in place in the renewal areas of Morecambe will bring about further benefits for those working and living in areas such as the West End as well as compliment efforts to regenerate the West End and other parts of Morecambe.

“The views of everyone who would be affected by the introduction of a such licensing scheme in this area are important to us and I would urge everyone to get involved and have their say.”

Following the 10 week consultation exercise final approval will be sought from Cabinet members prior to the Morecambe Licensing Scheme being implemented in the West End.

Data collected through the survey will remain confidential.

For more information on the survey visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/rented where you will be able to find detailed information on the licensing proposals, a map of the proposed area and FAQs and an online version of the survey for people to complete.