Thanet Council - GeoPlace Exemplar Awards 2022
Thanet Council has delivered a map that can show privately rented homes to potential residents, so that they can see if the landlord has obtained a licence and is operating lawfully. They can also see if it meets their requirements by being near other local amenities such as schools, parks, shops etc.
Every council is under a statutory duty to maintain a public register of all privately rented homes that are subject to a selective licence. The purpose of holding a public register is mainly to ensure that tenants can see if their current landlord (or a prospective landlord) has obtained a licence and is operating lawfully.
By delivering a map that can show the location of properties in a designated selective licensing area, potential residents can see if the property is part of the scheme. They can also see if it meets their requirements by being near other local amenities such as schools, parks, shops etc.
A large spreadsheet was being manually populated from existing back office systems. The public register was only made available by monthly release, and simply it wasn’t presenting up to date information. In addition, the team wasn’t using a consistent format for address data across the department. Data wasn’t being shared within the service area or across the organisation, and it was being kept in different places. No UPRNs were held within the data either, so it couldn’t be cross referenced to ensure consistency. And finally, there was no means for potential tenants to view properties within the selective licensing area.
By providing a map that showed the location of properties in the selective landlord scheme area, landlords could be far more easily identified. That information could then be used – internally and externally – updating the data via the cross-reference field (a generated license number) within the gazetteer management system. As the property already existed in the Local Land and Property Gazetteer, only the reference field needed to be updated.
This work enabled a wide range of stakeholders across the authority to view the data they needed for their day to day work including planning, building control and environmental health. The map also made it much easier for potential tenants to find somewhere to live.