Rotherham housing scheme slammed by landlord

Landlord Simon Abson outside his home
Landlord Simon Abson outside his home

A landlord has blasted a new system for homes in Rotherham as a ‘money making scheme’ which will not tackle problems.

Simon Abson is one of hundreds of landlords calling for a judicial review over the borough council’s selective licensing scheme.

Such schemes are used to tackle rogue landlords and improve conditions in troubled areas, and in Sheffield one operates on 350 properties in Page Hall.

But in Rotherham it will apply to landlords who lease 2,500 homes in the areas of Dinnington, Maltby, South East, Eastwood and Masbrough from May 1.

Landlords will have to register for a £615 five-year licence.

Ex-miner Mr Abson, who lives in Sheffield and has six properties in the affected areas, said many landlords had not yet even been officially told about the scheme by the council but could be fined if they did not register in time.

He added: “It is a mess.

“How can you run such a scheme if you have no idea who is going to be in it?

“I’ve been told by a council officer that all they are hoping for is that people will go to them and fill in the form.”

Mr Abson said the council had not outlined how the scheme would benefit tenants or why it was required in those areas.

There were better ways to tackle irresponsible landlords, he added.

He said: “It’s just a money making scheme.

“The council say people don’t want to move into these areas but its not true. Areas up and down the country are much worse but these have been singled out.”

The council’s cabinet is to discuss the scheme on March 18. The Star has contacted Rotherham Council for comment.