Coventry irresponsibly implementing selective licensing

by Nick Thompson

15:46 PM, 15th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Coventry irresponsibly implementing selective licensing

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Coventry irresponsibly implementing selective licensing

The NRLA have accused Coventry Council of being irresponsible for ignoring government coronavirus guidelines by going ahead with plans to implement a licensing scheme for private rented housing.

The Council intends to bring in a licensing scheme from 4th May despite government guidelines which advise that the introduction of new, non-mandatory licensing schemes should be paused.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has written to the Council asking them to defer the scheme’s introduction.

Commenting on the Council’s plans, the Policy Director for the NRLA, Chris Norris, said:

“The guidelines are there to protect tenants and landlords from unnecessary contact. Where a licensing scheme is introduced, landlords have to go into their properties to check that they meet the licensing obligation and maybe need to carry out non-essential works. This exposes them and the tenants to an enhanced risk of contagion.

“Several local authorities have done the right thing and paused the introduction of new licensing schemes in response to the crisis including Luton and Newcastle and we are asking Coventry to do the same.

“It would be thoroughly irresponsible of the Council to ignore the guidelines and go ahead with their plans.”


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Comments

Carol

9:40 AM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

This is just a money making scheme for Coventry Council. I have HMO's in Coventry, one of which I had to apply for a licence for when the government rules changed in October 2018. I applied for the licence, Coventry CC took the money but I am still waiting for an inspection and the licence. When Adrian Chowns addressed a meeting I went to regarding the new licencing scheme, he admitted that HMO licences had not been sent, though officially we should have them displayed in the HMO. Coventry CC are also not recognising NLA Accreditation for LL and insist on LL going on a one day course by Coventry CC or be subject to an eye watering £1200 cost of a 1 year licence. I tried to apply for a course in February yet none were available. In March I managed to secure a place for October; too late to meet the 4th May deadline for applications. No letters or messages were sent out to existing HMO LL's. I also heard though a reliable source that inspections are only being carried out HMO's if a complaint has been lodged.

Due to COVID-19, I now have a 4 bed HMO with only 1 tenant and he isn't paying. He is self employed and told me that he has to self isolate due to being Diabetic. Would I still have to apply for the licence? Coventry CC are imposing heavy fines and when you register for the course you have to list all the properties you rent in Coventry, whether they require licencing or not.

I know my houses will meet the requirements but I am not sure I want to be involved anymore. Next money making scheme will be council tax on rooms and of course they will know all the room layouts in the properties you own. Good LL's are just seen as a money tree, but with all the recent legislation and COVID-19 has killed any profit. LL's are just left to deal with non-paying and abusive tenants with no help from the police, council or government. I have yet to hear of any prosecutions of tenants by Coventry CC but they will be quick to fine LL's. Fed up with being a target

Luke P

9:45 AM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Carol at 16/04/2020 - 09:40
If you must officially display the licence and they haven’t issued it, I’d look at a group of you suing the Council for not upholding their end and thus jeopardising your position.

Ingrid Bacsa

9:57 AM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Carol at 16/04/2020 - 09:40
Agree absolutely. We landlords are held totally responsible whilst the government takes total control of our business. The licence system is a cash cow. It ensures we pay to let our HMOs. Any anti social complaints by neighbours - guess who has to pay the fines? We labdlords are a minority group unable to defend ourselves collectively. Al governmenrs are trying to secure votes from the majority: the tenants matter. We need a mass eviction day as protest when all this is over.

Lindsay Keith

10:06 AM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Heaven knows how you get the message through! Anybody got a line into a journalist prepared to include this in a question to whoever is leading the Daily Briefing? It's not ALL about the Virus. Daily life can intrude as well? And THIS point is also very much a real life Health & Safety issue, as well as an irresponsible (militant/bone-head?) LA?

Carol

10:24 AM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

I like the idea of a mass eviction day, though I do have some good tenants. I believe I treat my tenants fairly and would not like to tar all tenants with the same brush.

Also, the majority of LL's have only one property and do not belong to NRLA or follow what is happening as they leave it to letting agents thinking they are covered. Getting a collective voice or action is difficult.

All I want is a quick and inexpensive recourse if a tenant breaches the contract, mainly by not paying rent, damage or ASB. If a tenant knows they will loose their accommodation they may think twice? However, the government and councils back the tenant every time. As a good LL, I do not feel I am being treated fairly and have all my power taken away over something that I own.

Maybe I am old school, thinking that a LL has the responsibility to provide a safe home for a tenant. We invested everything in our properties to ensure we had enough in retirement not to burden the tax payer with our care. Now we feel all of our hard work and savings are going to be stolen from us and we will land up destitute.

Mick Roberts

12:58 PM, 16th April 2020
About 6 months ago

It would be irresponsible bringing it in full stop. Knowing what we now know of the big rent increases & humongous homeless it has caused in cities like Nottingham only 50 miles away.

Des Taylor Landlords Defence Ltd

11:00 AM, 25th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Hi Carol,

You have a licence for your HMO and it was granted by Tacit Consent after 20 weeks according to the policy at Coventry.

This means that in effect you have been granted a licence without conditions and when they come to processing your application you can point that out to them and they will not be granting nor refusing you a licence they will only be able to vary it.

You will see an article here next week from us about this.

You have nothing to worry about.

If you stop running as a HMO then you can revoke your licence with immediate effect, although you will not get refund and you will have to reapply all over if you want it to be an HMO again.

So, best to keep as is.

You are in a strong position.

If you need help let me know. We offer a 20 minutes call to assist at no cost.

https://10to8.com/book/landlords/

Des Taylor
Landlord Licensing and Defence


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