Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I promised last week to update readers after the “end of the road” Offering.
Now to Sheffield Council and their Partners The RLA.
Sheffield have introduced their Selective Licensing Scam. I have reviewed their application process and conditions and the scheme is a farce riddled with illegality.
Firstly the Council state that one should consider not applying for a licence, if the applicant lives 2 hours away. Yes readers the Council and RLA think that a landlord who lives two hours away cannot manage his portfolio. Are properties to be inspected at 2 hourly intervals ?
Do they mean 2 hours by Bicycle (Councils love Green operators) or two hours by car or Helicopter. I joke you not. Look this up on Sheffield”s website. It is beyond belief.
It gets worse. Sheffield Council will retain your data for 7 years, even if you withdraw or are unsuccessful with your application. This is a blatant breach of GDPR. The principles are clear, collation must be reasonable and not excessive and furthermore the Council have a duty to keep data up to date and current. How will they keep this data current as the landlord might sell his property. Another GDPR Breach and yes folks, all under the watchful eye of our so called representative body the RLA.
Sheffield then wade deeper in to the mire demanding landlords supply details of other properties licensed with other councils, this is the same trap that Sefton jumped in to. Sefton now acknowledge that the ICO must rule on this, yet the RLA failed to point this out to Sheffield. WHY? Perhaps the reluctance of the RLA to fight the landlords corner can be found In the Sheffield introduction to their scheme. Sheffield refer to their partner the RLA and state that they expect landlords to undergo a training course with them.
It is a disgrace, and no landlord in their right mind in Sheffield should attend a course that cannot spot blatant GDPR breaches time and again.
Does it end here. Not by a longshot. Sheffield demand that landlords keep all correspondence relating to ASB and provide it to them on demand. I myself took Liverpool to the first tier Tribunal and obtained a ruling, Liverpool had to subsequently amend their conditions stating that where a landlord received correspondence confidentially re ASB, The landlord was not obliged to pass said info to the council. The reasoning behind this ruling was that Local authorities did not have systems in place like the police to protect informants.
So here we have Sheffield ignoring the ruling of the First Tier Property tribunal and inserting an illegal condition in their conditions. The RLA clearly are completely unfit to offer any training based on their acceptance of such a fatally flawed scheme.
For Sheffield Landlords by the way it is £500 to apply, then a new wheeze, another £250 to cover the inspection.
The HA 2004 states that provided one has made a valid application , this is a defence against prosecution. If however the LA provide a scheme which is flawed, Breaches GDPR, Discriminates against London Landlords (the 2 hour away rule) and inserts a condition already struck down by the first tier tribunal, it is difficult to see how a landlord could even start the process of applying.
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