Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

11:41 AM, 27th June 2014, About 7 years ago 148

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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

by Mandy Thomson

19:31 PM, 20th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Update: I've just received an email from David Chong Ping, the Senior Research Manager at M·E·L Research Ltd, the research company Croydon Council is using for their licensing consultation.

Croydon Council are still very much in favour of a blanket borough wide licensing scheme (or #Tenantax), but they are now consulting on 3 alternate options in addition.

More information and the link to their additional consultation survey can be found here http://www.croydon.gov.uk/housing/privatehousing/selective-licensing and here http://www.m-e-l.co.uk/croydon.aspx

by Mandy Thomson

9:02 AM, 12th July 2015, About 6 years ago

A group of landlords and property developers have started legal action against the Croydon scheme. They are calling for anyone affected by this to support them - visit their website: http://www.croydonpropertyforumltd.com/

It seems that Croydon's £750 fee, with no discount for multiple properties, is at least ONE of the highest and most punitive around. This doesn't send the message that they're on the side of landlords and prepared to work with them...

by Mandy Thomson

14:24 PM, 30th July 2015, About 6 years ago

The Queen (on the application of Croydon Property Forum Ltd) v London Borough of Croydon.

The above hearing has been set for Tuesday 4 August 2015. This is likely to be at 10:30 in the morning – however, it is CRUCIAL that attendees arrive at least 30 minutes early in order to get through security and find the court room within the extremely large Royal Courts building complex.

As there is no set length of time for hearings, times give by the Court can only be approximate.

Please check the Queen's Bench Daily Cause List https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-queens-bench the day before for the most up to date times.

The hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL.  The presiding judge will be His Honour Justice Ouseley. This will be to determine whether the CPF have permission to take a judicial review, and if that permission is granted, the actual hearing will be the same day.

A good turnout will be helpful in showing that there is public interest in the case and that our legal arguments should be heard.

You should arrive at the main entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL. You will be required to pass through security. Double check the court number on the Cause List, either by asking at the enquiry desk or by checking on the lists behind the desk.

The nearest tube stations are: Holborn (Piccadilly and Central lines), Chancery Lane (Central line), Temple (District and Circle lines). Access information is at: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/rcj-rolls-building/rcj/faqs with further information for disabled visitors at: https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/courts/rcj/facilities-and-access/facilities-services-disabilities.pdf

If you're travelling from Croydon, Temple is the most direct station; simply take the District Circle line eastbound from Victoria.  From Temple tube station, go straight up Arundel Street, at the end turn right into the Strand, passing St Clement Danes Church (on an island in the middle of the Strand), once past Clement Danes, you will see the Royal Courts of Justice on the opposite side of the street.

Airport-style security is in operation, although water is allowed. You will need to allow plenty of time to pass through security and to find the court room - it is a large complex of buildings. If you arrive very early, Cafe 26 is at the far end of the main hall and there are various free exhibitions off the main hall.

Please remember to switch off your phone and to respect the protocols of the Court, such as standing up when a judge enters the court room, the maintenance of quiet in the public gallery, and following the directions of ushers.

Dress code: formal (suit and equivalent for women).

Could you pass the word around about our hearing, as we need as many people there as possible to show support?

by Mandy Thomson

15:02 PM, 3rd August 2015, About 6 years ago

The time and Court room of tomorrow's permission hearing has just been announced:

COURT 27
Before SIR STEPHEN SILBER
Sitting as a judge of the High Court
Tuesday 4 August, 2015
At a quarter past 10
FOR HEARING

Applications for Permission
CO/2774/2015 The Queen on the application of Croydon Property Forum Limited v London Borough Of Croydon

If the permission hearing is successful, we will then have the hearing proper on the same day.

Please ensure that you arrive at least 30 minutes before as the Royal Courts of Justice is a vast building complex and it isn't easy to find your way around. There is also airport style security in place.

Many thanks in advance to those who make the effort to attend or pass on word to those who can.

by Jay James

20:19 PM, 5th August 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "03/08/2015 - 15:02":

Hi Mandy

How did it go yesterday at RCJ?

by Jay James

20:20 PM, 5th August 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "03/08/2015 - 15:02":

Hi Mandy

How did it go yesterday at RCJ?

by Mandy Thomson

15:02 PM, 7th August 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay James" at "05/08/2015 - 20:20":

Hi James

Sorry for the delayed reply.

The Judge (the Hon. Sir Stephen Silber) expects to hand down his judgement by next Thursday.

Our main argument is that developers should have been consulted as a separate group, given the massive amount of investment and new homes they provide for the borough. Moreover, that the Council did not take any reasonable steps to consult these people which would be easy given that many of them are known to the Council in their involvement with the Develop Croydon project forum, which meets quarterly, and includes representatives from the Council who are involved with planning applications and landlord licensing. The opposing argument of the defence is that developers are just landlords and businesses like any other that the Council have adequately consulted, and it was incumbent on them to conduct research to establish a pending landlord licensing designation.

The defence have also argued that as we were only just within time in submitting our challenge, that our claim should be dismissed as the Council have already spent money recruiting additional staff and investing in a new IT system. The judge understood our reason for the delay, it's our Counsel's opinion that our case will not turn on this point. On the other point of whether developers should have been consulted as a group, however, remains to be seen.

You can read more here: http://www.croydonpropertyforumltd.com/the-queen-on-the-application-of-croydon-property-forum-ltd-v-london-borough-of-croydon/

by Mandy Thomson

16:40 PM, 13th August 2015, About 6 years ago

We have just had the verdict through. The judge, Sir Stephen Silber, found we had a good reason to argue against Croydon Council’s designation, but found they had consulted adequately and dismissed our claim on that basis… Our barristers disagree and have advised we have good grounds to appeal.

If we are to appeal, we still need to raise funds!

There will be a meeting at 7:00pm next Thursday 20 August at the The United Reformed Church Hall, Addiscombe Grove, Croydon, CR0 5LP.

Please pass on word and bring two people with you if you can.

Many thanks on behalf of Croydon Property Forum.

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