11:01 AM, 7th June 2021, About 12 months ago 20
A council has explicitly announced it’s “on the side of tenants against landlords”. Totally ignoring the fact that landlords are its citizens too. And citizens they are legally required to serve!
To date, this council boasts that it has stolen £320,000 worth of housing by way of rent repayment orders in respect of tenants who have had somewhere to live courtesy of private landlords, but where the council has been able to steal-back all the rent, “because the landlords have not licensed their properties, the law permits the council to steal £320,000 worth of housing by taking back all the rent, so the landlord gets zero.” In most cases the landlord will also have been fined at least £12,000 for not having a licence as well, that goes straight into the council’s coffers.
The decision was approved by the council after a ‘consultation’ last year and now Councillor Eve McQuillan, responsible for the authority’s planning and social inclusion, makes it clear that the licensing is not for the benefit of landlords.
She says: “Too many landlords in the borough still fail in their obligations to their tenants. Landlord licensing has been a game-changer for us to take action against rogue landlords so I’m really pleased we’ve extended the Selective Licensing Scheme.
“We’re very clear that we’re on the side of tenants and want to see big reforms in the private rented sector to reset the balance of power between landlords and renters.” With which statement she shows she absolutely chooses not to understand that the tenants already hold all the power and landlords nil, but there are no votes in that because they and the voters have all been brainwashed by Shelter and the like.
What she forgot to mention was; “Because we are making a massive amount of money stripping landlords of their assets through £millions in licensing fees and the £multi-millions of fines we can trump-up against decent landlords.
The current Selective Licensing Scheme has been in operation in parts of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets since October 2016 and has put a legal duty on landlords and agents responsible for the privately rented properties to apply for a licence.
The council says: “Since its launch, the scheme has allowed for the effective management of rented properties to prevent and deal with anti-social behaviour originating from the private rented sector and has made overall improvements to property conditions across these neighbourhoods.
“Tower Hamlets will now focus on enforcing several areas to ensure the standards of the scheme are upheld. This includes issuing fines to landlords or agents who fail to license their properties; effective management of rent properties to prevent anti-social behaviour and taking action against landlords or agents who fail to maintain their properties to a good standard.”
Isn’t it interesting that whereas the police and the council combined have totally failed to deal with anti-social behaviour of people, they claim it can be fixed by making landlords responsible.
But wait, it means there’s something else councils can fine landlords for when surprise, surprise, little landlords can’t do what the combined power of the councils and the police couldn’t manage. I believe that’s called a set-up!
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, adds: “The extension of the Selective Licensing Scheme ensures we can continue to protect tenants and drive up the quality of private rented accommodation. We are using the powers at our disposal to protect renters and want the government to let us do even more, so we can extend the scheme borough-wide. We will continue to stick up for the rights of renters and keep lobbying the government on this.”
Based on an analysis of the London Rogue Landlord database by Landlord Licensing & Defence, Currently only 11th in the league table of Landlord bashing with only 1.8% of the landlord fines, Tower Hamlets has obviously looked in awe at the 39% share of the £multi-million landlord fines market taken by London Borough of Camden and the 15% share enjoyed by Waltham Forest and needs to up its game to generate the revenue it so obviously lusts after.
Council after council in the UK is turning away from old-school professional housing officers and replacing them with Housing Enforcement Officers who are revenue generation experts with little care for housing quality and totally focussed on extorting money from landlords, all of whom they are indoctrinated to believe are criminals by definition. We regularly see councils helping themselves to between 25% and 50% of a rental property’s asset value. Many sensible landlords are selling up and getting out while they can.
It is war, and it is a war that landlords will not win. The biggest losers however will be the tenants where there will be fewer rental homes and rent will go up as they heap additional costs and risks on landlords. Citizens for whom councils have shirked their responsibility to build social housing for decades now and who cannot afford to buy the properties that landlord are offloading. But councils do not care about them, about landlords or in fact about anything but revenue generation. Councils across the land are out of control.
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