Landlords unable to respond to London council’s so called “consultation”

by Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

10:15 AM, 28th January 2021
About a month ago

Landlords unable to respond to London council’s so called “consultation”

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Landlords unable to respond to London council’s so called “consultation”

Landlords you need to make your voice heard! You have only until February 11th to respond to the licensing proposals of the City of Westminster council. Except you can’t. The City of Westminster has some 52,700 rental properties constituting 43% of its total housing stock.

With a large proportion of these properties marked as HMOs, the council has published a proposed licensing scheme to – in its words – “ensure that Westminster has a safe, well-managed, and professional-run private rented sector.” Though of course, we all know that is forked-tongue for “The biggest cashflow generator we’ve dreamed up in decades.”

These proposals, now open to formal consultation, were backed by respondents to an earlier consultation in autumn 2020, with almost 70% in agreement.

The council is now asking for feedback and input on the proposed additional policy before a decision is made on whether to implement.

Except the links on the City of Westminster website just take you round and round in circles to the same two pages and NOWHERE is there a form to complete or any method to make your comments heard. Here try it for yourself see the proposals here

I think that tells you all you need to know about the council’s true intentions.

The proposed Additional Licensing Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupancy will focus on Westminster’s 9,000-plus HMOs including flatshares, bedsits, and buildings converted into flats.

Not only will they make 9,000 x lets say £1000 or so per HMO – that’s £9million in licence fees that we’ve yet to see a single council produce independent research to who it makes any difference to housing quality they will make 100 times that in Landlord Fines. So that will be, let’s say, be another £900million in the council’s coffers.

Readers will instantly spot the similarity to the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, as councils drag decent landlords into their torture chambers, destroying their business, their mental health and the lives of their families because they’re far easier to ‘’tax’ the real villainous landlords who are too much like hard work to get money out of.

More Robin Hoods are needed to protect Landlords from the greed and bully-boy tactics of these unaccountable and out of control councils.

Under current national laws, the council can only license 300 of the estimated 9,000 HMOs but the new proposed scheme will increase this number significantly “and drastically improve the local authority’s ability to enforce essential housing standards and protect residents” it says.

As is commonly the case with licensing proposals, the council claims they will drive up housing standards, establish a common standard and drastically increase interventions in property affected by poor tenancy management, the need for repairs, fire safety hazard, and anti-social behaviour.

Come on councils of England – we are waiting for the slightest vestige of proof of these outlandish claims.

You can see the proposals here but we challenge you to find a way to respond

Comments

Robin Campbell

8:06 AM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

Hi, I work for Westminster City Council. The web page had been unavailable for a couple of days, due to a technical issue, but is now up and running again. As such, the consultation has been extended until 18th Feb.

Here's the web page: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/housing/private-sector-housing/houses-multiple-occupation-hmo/additional-licensing-scheme-consultation

Here's a direct link to the consultation

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/QUBSHK/

Mick Roberts

11:32 AM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

Thanks for keeping us informed Des & Phil.
I know nothing of HIMO's, but I know in normal houses (I had to license 36 of mine & give/upload/submit my passport 36 THIRTY-SIX times. Why?) Licensing has found 1% with faults, meanwhile the other 99% 19,800 Dec 19 tenants had to pay rent increases to pay for the extortionate Licensing fee & got nothing in return. In fact got worse houses the majority, cause the Council had the Landlords refurb budget. Imbeciles.

Tim Rogers

12:02 PM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

It seem that it is way past time to correlate all the data from all the licencing schemes and show clearly the activity of the councils in checking properties etc, (where was it that they only visited some 190 in 5 years but had 9 mill in fees), the benefit to tenants, ( or the cost increase etc), the holes in their administration ( such as having to show your passport so many times, why not scan and log it for reference), The level of exit from the PRS sector and the additional strain on council resources.
Put a balanced and well structured report together and then press the MPs and ministers to change direction.
The collating is a lot of work, but it's in our own interest.
How would members feel about crowd funding such research?

Mick Roberts

12:46 PM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

U got it bang on Tim.
They wun't listen though would they.
Kate Faulkner is doing some stuff on this.
I think problem we have is each Council makes their own rules & reasons up, we need Govt to stop giving 'em permission one day.
And then the different Council departments need to talk to each other.
I have it off the record that Council can't put their tenants with Private Landlords as every Landlord says No, Licensing has shafted us.
But this message don't get back to the people that are above Licensing & homeless. Or it does & cause they Labour, they not interested & want rid of all Landlords forgetting the homeless consequences.
Or excited cause they building 200 Council houses a year in Nottingham & think that will eventually take up the slack.

Rennie

14:53 PM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

I managed to get on it but don't know what I clicked on to get there.

LaLo

16:25 PM, 29th January 2021
About a month ago

Our council brought in licencing at £600 plus £30,000 - unlimited fines if they find something wrong! I sold up and God knows where the tenant ended up! I've heard some inspectors have received threats - can't think why??!!

nish

14:55 PM, 30th January 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Rogers at 29/01/2021 - 12:02
I think this is a great idea.
Will property118 be willing to spearhead this?

Heather G.

17:55 PM, 1st February 2021
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Rogers at 29/01/2021 - 12:02
I think it's a great idea too. I'm happy to supply what I have regarding Croydon Council. They're currently awaiting government scheme approval for either 97% or 100% of the borough.
I have just renewed 2 tenancies and kept the rents the same, with the caveat that if SL is brought in again, we will have no choice but to increase the rents.


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