PRIVATE landlords in problem areas could soon be forced to sign up to a licensing scheme that will clean up the borough's worst hit streets.

The council will next week decide whether to appoint an officer to develop a licensing scheme for landlords which aims to tackle houses that are left to ruin and those which have anti-social tenants.

Coun Jenny Platts said: “The aim of a licencing scheme is to improve safety and standards in some of our most deprived streets and neighbourhoods.

“If the proposal is approved, this would be the first step in identifying possible areas where the scheme could work. We hope that it would encourage landlords to take more responsibility for the management of their accommodation.”