Binning selective licensing will leave tenants at the ‘mercy of unscrupulous landlords’

Binning selective licensing will leave tenants at the ‘mercy of unscrupulous landlords’

0:05 AM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago 19

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A charity is warning that a proposal under the Renters (Reform) Bill to introduce a property portal which could replace selective licensing will leave tenants at the ‘mercy of unscrupulous landlords’.

Safer Renting believes that selective licensing shouldn’t be binned but the government should strengthen it with better enforcement and inspection.

In a report based on research carried out in Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Waltham Forest and Westminster, the charity warns that nearly all private rented properties were ‘non-compliant’ under licensing rules.

And having a property portal will mean councils won’t know about property conditions in their areas.

‘Landlord non-compliance is the norm’

In the report, the charity says: “This study tells us Selective Licensing needs strengthening with enhanced programmes of inspection and enforcement. This report adds to the government’s own data, showing that even where licensing is in place, landlord non-compliance is the norm.

“The report recommends improving enforcement powers with measures such as annual property inspections and continuing schemes until there is evidence it is no longer required.

Abolishing selective licensing risks undermining the entire stated purpose of the Renters (Reform) Bill: improved security of tenure for renters isn’t really worth having if the homes they have the right to stay in aren’t fit for human habitation.”

The charity says that introducing a landlord register as part of the property portal will not tackle poor property conditions – unless there is an inspection regime to enforce the rules.

Boroughs were shocked when they set up their licensing schemes

The report goes on to say that all five boroughs were shocked when they set up their licensing schemes about the ‘high degree of non-compliance’.

It says that environmental health officers found issues ‘in nine out of 10’ properties that had been licensed.

Apparently, one borough reported that 95% of properties that had applied for a licence had not complied with its conditions.

Many of the rented homes that failed had ‘Category 1’ hazards – the most serious risk to health.

Also, many of the rented homes needed several inspections before they reached the required standards, the report claims.


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Comments

Michael Booth

19:23 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

If you look hard enough you will find some sort of problem with a property especially local authorities property , scare mongering again , more licences equal higher rents.

Cider Drinker

21:16 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bobby Ridgewell at 26/03/2024 - 16:32
Some tenants are great. Some are not.

Some tenants don’t look after the property. Some damage it on purpose because they resent having a landlord.

Equally, some landlords suck.

This particular ‘charity’ wants to keep the expensive selective licensing. They don’t want the proposed property portal to make SL obsolete.

Correctly administered, a property portal could identify rogue landlords and remove them from the PRS. Then, all that we will need is to rid the PRS of rogue tenants and there’ll be no need for the charities.

Crouchender

21:27 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 26/03/2024 - 08:56
Unfortunately councils use this dodgy data to help their borough-wide SL schemes that GOVE always approves. The property portal will take years to set up meanwhile councils will happily fine any LLs they can that have a licence as it generates income. Expect Labour to use this reports narrative to make life hell for LLs who sign up to these schemes and ignore below radar LLs.

The set up costs for the schemes is a load of tosh as they have the same software that they run for HMOs and additional HMOs so they just bolt on SL schemes and these are supposed to be self funding i.e. Us LLs pay for the set up costs.

Yellard

23:14 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 26/03/2024 - 08:56
U r right.. Typical anti private landlord rant. It claims "some" serious breaches but dosent specify how many.. It talks of "95%" in breach but not whether they were extremely minior or irrelevant. My tenant didnt tell me his wife had a new baby.. I therefore declared three residents rather than four.. Whoo! What an evil Rachman am I...

Yellard

23:27 PM, 26th March 2024, About 3 months ago

Yes, there are some slum private landlords (not as many total properties as slum Council housing providers)..
Nearly 99% of slum landlords will be renting to benefit claimants. At moment rent benefits are paid on property size not quality.. (Housing benefit used to be paid on quality).. All properties receiving rent benefit should require a licence and whether the property has a licence should be legally obliged to be provided to any new prospective tenant. The council should then be entitled to random inspections in which properties not meeting the licence standard would have the amount of rent benefit reduced on that PROPERTY until it is improved.
75% of tenancies don't get Housing Benefit. Universal licensing is a waste of resources (albeit profitable to Councils). In London there are rental properties worth a million around the corner from ex council flats on "sink estates"..
PS If tenants move into a property and subsequently become reliant on benefits due to a change of circumstances , the licence (to rent to benefit claimants) should be free. There won't be too many such "free" applications .

anthony altman

8:09 AM, 27th March 2024, About 3 months ago

These so called charities are motivated by bigotry hate and greed ,it is not difficult to imagine the incentives agreed by the leaders of these gangs with the multi national corporate giants once they exterminate the last landlord they will receive their payment while trotting out the same old lies that they are there for tenants

Mick Roberts

9:26 AM, 29th March 2024, About 3 months ago

Nottingham Council find a loose carpet tack on the stairs-The carper that tenant has fitted. This goes down as Category One hazard. Bad house by Landlord.

David Rose

10:10 AM, 29th March 2024, About 3 months ago

The City of Bath got rid of their selective licensing scheme at the end of last year, so an ideal model to track the "rise of the unscrupulous landlord"

Lisa008

8:11 AM, 30th March 2024, About 2 months ago

This report is focused on 5 London boroughs - Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Waltham Forest and Westminster. I've lived and worked in 2 of these. No surprise to me. I think the vast majority of these places won't pass any checks.

Occasionally, in the media there'll be reports 'landlord fined (insert breathtaking amount) for renting house which was found to have 15 people and 1 bathroom' etc., so I can imagine London landlords are not going to be compliant... because some of the sh!t holes I've seen... and these LL will look in your face and demand some outrageous rent.

There was the case of that guy living in a cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter. That was his room... under the stairs. There are 3-4 bed houses with 3-4 people families in one room. London councils are going to be busy getting these LLs.

All these people working on minimum wage... does anyone wonder how they afford travel and food and accomodation in the capital? You'd have to work full time plus overtime, this month, and part of next, to just cover the average RENT in London ... which is what now? About £900 per month for A ROOM ???!!!

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