Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

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Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

However, the term “selective licensing” is something of a misnomer in this instance, as the proposal is for it to be borough wide.

The newly elected council’s objective seems not to be to tackle anti social behavior (and they can hardly claim lack of demand in a London borough with excellent transport links which is a major business centre in its own right) but to bring up the standard of privately rented accommodation and tackle rogue landlords. However, the DCLG will only allow councils to introduce SL if one or both of these conditions are met… Thus the ASB fig leaf, even though they themselves admit ASB is actually going down in the borough…

We all know about the somewhat prohibitive charges, payable upfront, but after a long phone conversation today with Chris Wright of Twinpier who advises on licensing issues as a sideline, I learned about some not only unreasonable, but downright ridiculous conditions some councils expect landlords to meet, such as not allowing a tenant to park a trade vehicle next to or near the property; providing printed appliance manuals – in the tenant’s native language, however obscure.

Landlords are also subject to fines for their tenants’ anti social behavior e.g. leaving a sofa in the front garden for a few days before it can be taken away for disposal, but at the same time, increasing the notice period to visit property from the standard 24 hours to 7 days…

Many thanks

MandyCroydon

Comments

David Lawrenson

4 years ago

In Newham, what they found once they had put their scheme in place was that the number of private rented sector (PRS) dwelligns was much higher than they had thought.

I was at a CIH meeting / event when the rep from Newham Council announced that fact with delight to the assembled audience of mostly local authority / housing association folk.

I was speaking next and went away from my prepared speech to point out to him that as the original allegedly higher ASB figures around private rent were used as the basis for their all-borough licensing scheme, and as the numbers of PRS properties later tunred out to be under by about 20%, then, basic maths would suggest that the incidence of ASB in the PRS properties was actually no higher than in other properties.

So the argument used that PRS has a higher incidence of ASB was nonsensical - and he had just admitted the flaw.

He could not defend himself nor my argument, based on simple maths. Neither did he try.

I suggest that one route for you would be to argue on the basis of the Newham experience of underestimating the size of the PRS (publicly available online) that the claims for ASB in the PRS to be higher in Croydon are similarly false because the Council cannot know how big the PRS in is the borough.

David Lawrenson
LettingFocus.com

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Lawrenson" at "27/06/2014 - 12:16":

Thanks, David. I can maybe try this; however, I believe these people are so determined to go ahead with this that they will use any argument that gives it the thinnest veneer of legality - once one argument is defeated, another is put forward, until they achieve their objective. They employ their own statisticians to massage the figures on the relationship between the PRS and ASB. I believe they are well aware that there is little or no relationship between privately rented accommodation and ASB. Emergency services attending incidents don't record the housing tenure of anyone involved. During a recent Enfield committee meeting, prominent councillors actually went so far as to shout down their own electors who simply posed questions that disproved their arguments.

David Lawrenson

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "27/06/2014 - 13:16":

True, and this was very much the attitude of Newham too.

There is something of an empire to be built for all the processing involved and the large budget will give a Town Hall exec an excuse for a commensurate pay packet, so any argument will be used to try to justify the decision and stats massaged to fit, as you rightly say.

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

Property Tribes have just published this: "Selective Licensing: Councils Ask GOVT to scrap requirements" >> http://www.propertytribes.com/selective-licenceing-councils-ask-govt-to-scrap-requirements-t-11586.html.

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

Property Tribes have just published a thread, started by Adam Hosker. Adam quotes the Local Government Association (LGA) as stating:

" The LGA says "In practice, councils find that their private rented market does not fall neatly into either category [ASB or low demand] and there are further barriers in the bureaucratic process of setting up a licensing regime. One council estimated that it could take up to thirteen months to gather the evidence needed. "

They are therefore asking government to change the criteria for bringing in PRS licensing, to enable local authorities to introduce this at will.

Paul Shears

4 years ago

Am I the only one who finds the use of acronyms infuriating? I have to read this several times to understand it.

John Constant

4 years ago

You should join NAAA Paul.

(National Association against Acronyms)

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Shears" at "28/06/2014 - 03:06":

Point taken - correct writing has an acronym introduced in brackets after the name or phrase is spelled out in full first, unless it's an acronym that's in common usage by the intended audience - e.g. I would expect most people reading this to understand "PRS" as most of us are property professionals or investors. "DCLG" is a very well used acronym for "Department for Communities and Local Government" which I would expect nearly everyone in the UK to know.

philip allen

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "28/06/2014 - 09:04":

Thanks Mandy, I didn't know what DLCG, DGCL, GLDC...........that one wasI

Paul Shears

4 years ago

"I would expect most people reading this to understand “PRS” as most of us are property professionals or investors. “DCLG” is a very well used acronym for “Department for Communities and Local Government” which I would expect nearly everyone in the UK to know."
I've never heard of either and I certainly won't know what they stand for the next time I see them. Furthermore I very much doubt if even 1% of the UK population would know either. Why use them at all?
I've worked in I.T. for 35 years and my industry is saturated in acronyms. The over whelming majority of the people that I have worked with have no idea what the acronyms stand for but many are still convinced that they have some idea what they mean.
If your only writing a few sentences in any walk of life, and especially if it's a public forum, the use of acronyms should be avoided as much as possible.
I still don't think I understand the original post.
Am I expected to re-write everything in plain English before I try to read it?

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