11:14 AM, 16th July 2014, About 10 years ago 11
More and more local authorities are introducing selective licensing (SL), claiming a correlation with anti social behaviour (ASB) and/or low rental demand – these are currently the only reasons that councils are allowed to use to introduce selective licensing. The Local Government Association (LGA) are simultaneously campaigning for the right for local authorities to be able to simply introduce SL at will.
Chris Wright from Twinpier has started a campaign to get the issue of councils using ASB and low demand as reasons to bring in selective licensing (when the evidence is tenuous at best) heard before a Dept of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) select committee by the Autumn of 2014.
There is evidence that several local authorities have used data to prove a link with privately rented property and ASB and low demand, when this data has been tenuous at best – if the select committee finds that this is the case, many local authorities could be forced to rescind SL orders, either wholly or partly, and refund licensing fees to landlords. They would also be forced to produce much more robust evidence (at least while this remains the standard for SL) when introducing SL.
Chris Wright needs signatures from landlords and other stakeholders in addition to accounts of how you might have been affected by this – all details in strictest confidence – please click here for more details
The licensing fees can be eye wateringly high – for example, Croydon Council are believed to be proposing £1,000 per property – payable up front. For a small landlord (i.e. the vast majority of private landlords), this is a lot of money to find in one go.
However, even if the fee isn’t an issue for you, there is much more at stake for landlords; once a local authority has selective licensing in place, they are free to impose whatever restrictions and regulations they want – so if, for example, your tenant doesn’t always deal with their rubbish, or holds a party, you could potentially be fined or criminalised.
You might say that your council is led by reasonable people, who apply SL fairly, but what happens when there’s an election and they’re replaced by an administration with more extreme policies? Remember voters are more likely to cast protest votes and elect fringe and extremist parties at local elections than at a national level.
Please visit http://twinpier.co.uk/selective-licensing/ to lend your support – IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE!
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