Licensing proposed for Loughborough during crisis!

by Mick Roberts

9:01 AM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Licensing proposed for Loughborough during crisis!

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Licensing proposed for Loughborough during crisis!

Selective Licensing is being proposed for Loughborough, and they ain’t even telling Landlords publicly. A mate of mine who is going to be affected by this has asked for all of you with properties in Loughborough to be aware.

Charnwood Borough Council are consulting on two licensing schemes, one to capture all smaller HMOs in Loughborough where 3 to 4 tenants reside and the other, a Selective Licensing scheme where all family housing will be licensed.

Why during the worst crisis, the UK has faced since World War II, with many tenants becoming unemployed is the council hell-bent on rolling out a couple of costly licensing schemes which will force rents up making families homeless.

The 10-week consultation runs until 23rd October, strangely the council have decided not to consult on the proposed conditions for these schemes despite the Housing Act 2004, section 56 and section 80 clearly stating that councils need to take reasonable steps to consult properly with landlords and other stakeholders.

Many Loughborough landlords are asking how can they respond properly to Charnwood Borough Council’s consultations when they do not include the proposed conditions, even Nottingham an area with loads of licensing published draft conditions as part of their various licensing scheme consultations.

Cllr Paul Mercer, lead member for private housing said: We have a lot of good landlords in across Charnwood who understand their responsibilities and care about their tenants but there are also some properties which are of poor quality and badly managed. They can have an adverse impact on the local neighbourhood, with issues such as anti-social behaviour, higher levels of crime and lowering demand for housing.

“The proposed licensing schemes will be looking to address these issues and ensure landlords meet the conditions of the licences.

“I would encourage residents, landlords and local businesses to read the draft policy documents and give their views in the online survey.”

Funny the Councillor mentions the conditions but, where are they?

Nottingham has similar licensing schemes and no evidence has been put forward to suggest anti-social behaviour or crime improves because of them. If you talk to the resident groups they will tell you in student areas that nothing has changed.

Talk to tenants, and they will tell you their rents are going up as landlords pass the cost of licensing on to them and talk to social housing providers, and they will tell you more people are seeking social housing as the private rented sector is becoming too expensive. Nottingham now faces the highest housing lists in the East Midlands, a position that was not apparent before licensing came in.

Any Council officer that is ever thinking of starting Selective Licensing because they think it will find some bad Landlords. They are 100% correct.

Just as if you stop every single car coming into the city, you will find some drugs. Just as if you stop every single train travelling, you will stop some crashes.

Do the Police stop every single car? No, because the economy would stall. Do we stop every single train from travelling? No because we know the side effects will be much worse.

However, we all know the side effects of ‘fining’ in way of Licensing fees. EVERY SINGLE Landlord who gets ALL HIS money from his tenant. Rent pays for EVERYTHING. You increase the costs of EVERYTHING, you increase the rent. If the rent becomes unaffordable, the Landlord sells, just like every other business stops when costs or admin or trouble becomes too much. Charging EVERY Landlord, Landlords who have done nothing wrong results in massive side effects which we all know really hurts tenants.

Nottingham Dec 2019 had taken in 20,000 Licence fees and found 200 houses with faults. That is awful statistics. 19,800 have had side effects, so much so that Landlords are selling, not taking anyone less than perfect, the average tenant is suffering. My tenants can’t move anywhere. I’m rubbing my hands in glee, no voids, no doing up houses in between. It’s very good for me now the awful pain and costs of Licensing the houses is over. But what about the tenants? Licensing is supposed to be for them, but it’s made them much worse off. Rents are through the roof and their choice of being able to move has gone.

Please go ask your Charnwood Councillors who may be rubbing their hands in glee at some lovely Landlord income, to go ask the Nottingham Council Homeless section how they are faring. Ask them how many are in their hostels, families with kids sharing kitchens in Covid-19 times. Ask them how long they are there for? I know because I get these tenants ringing me for houses.

Ask the Council Homeless section what they say when tenants ring up with impending eviction.

Do not ask the Councillors overseeing Licensing as they will tell you they have found some Landlords that haven’t Licensed. Yet I will tell you these Landlords had perfectly good houses and have now been fined with Rent repayment orders and are now exiting the market. Tenants temporary win, yet lose long term as fewer houses=more costs.

To respond to the council consultation, click on the link

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DXCXFXJ


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Comments

TrevL

11:03 AM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

It's just an extra tax grab on LL income/ profits....agreed, however, to argue rents will go up is bull....LL generally already charge market rate in most cases, and as tenent income drops due to pandemic (and if the ban on evictions continues) LL are just gonna have to absorb it or sell up.

Paul Essex

12:54 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Sorry to disagree but AVERAGE rents will definitely increase as cheaper properties are no longer financially viable. Yes a posh high spec flat may stay the same, but those old victorian two beds renting at 550 pcm are very vulnerable.
For example on one of mine EWI is quoted at 10,000 that equates to around three years total income - licencing and regulations will remove all of these from the market, yes some large landlords will rejoice but so many low paid workers will suffer.

TrevL

13:37 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Essex at 06/10/2020 - 12:54
As the properties are removed from the market, they are sold to people who would otherwise have been tenants (don't imagine much demand for victorian two bed 2nd homes in loughborough)......so tenant numbers drops on a one to one basis (unless HMO's).

I can't for a minute guess the exact motive, but the 'tax' grab on Landlord income/profits is probably it, and if rental properties do leave the market, the Conservative council and MP get one more homeowner potentially voting 'Cons' at the next election......you can see why they are doing it. The loughborough majority isn't huge 27000 to 20000 labour I think, so a few extra voters, particularly after this pandemic, will be useful for them.

Mick Roberts

14:58 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by TrevL at 06/10/2020 - 11:03
It's 100% happened in Nottingham, 2 years ago 2 beds were £475ish (Bulwell), they now £595ish. The market rate was £475 & is now £595. I wun't have believed this was possible myself, but it happened.
I accept it shouldn't, but it has happened when Landlords get pushed into a corner & either try to find a way to pay the extra costs (& it ain't just the Licensing cost alone-we wish it was), or they sell up as u say-Which has happened also.

And now cause not so many houses to rent (especially to the vulnerable) Landlords can pick & choose. Agents will tell u 15 working people queuing & then bidding up the rent for the house. Thank u Licensing & Universal Credit.

Mick Roberts

14:58 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Essex at 06/10/2020 - 12:54
I agree Paul, what I was ranting about 2 years ago has made me better off. After the initial pain.

Mick Roberts

14:59 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by TrevL at 06/10/2020 - 13:37
What has happened in Nottingham.
The Councillors has got it wrong saying another Landlord buys. Wrong. My experience is roughly of 3 houses sold, 2 Landlords buy, meaning a private homeowner buys the other one. but what is VERY IMPORTANT, of the 66% Landlords that 're-buy', they AIN'T going to Benefit tenants. And this is what Licensing has done more than anything. It's objective is to make houses better arguably for more benefit tenants, but it is them same benefit tenants who are now worse off from higher rents & they just cannot get anywhere any more.

TrevL

15:22 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 06/10/2020 - 14:59
It'll be an interesting market to watch because Loughborough is so reliant on the student population.... don't they say the population rises and falls by a third in and out of term time....this licensing will be dwarfed by the lack of students in the town if a covid19 vaccine isn't found sharpish.....do privately renting student house fall under the licencing?

Mick Roberts

15:38 PM, 6th October 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by TrevL at 06/10/2020 - 15:22
Yes I don't profess to be expert in other areas or stuff I know nothing about.
However compared to the Councillors & Licensing Staff, I'm a ruddy Einstein & I ain't known it for 23 years. I thought I was just a normal Landlord who was good to me tenants who were good to me.
Or maybe we are all normal Landlords & it is in fact the Councillors who hasn't got a clue who make us look smart.

Anyway enough about us smart people ha ha, I don't know anything about the student market in Nottm, let alone Loughborough.
I'd imagine if the students are HIMO's, they will be in that scheme.

Northernpleb

10:51 AM, 9th October 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Mick is correct, In my area rents have increased by £60 to £100 per month. Most of my Tenants are Families and have been with me for over 10 years , In that time I have not increased the rent. I am forced to now. And I think a lot of Landlords are similar to me. I know all of my tenants and their circumstances quite well. And we have been plodding along together quite nicely. Due to the constant onslaught of regulations , Taxation. Draconian fines £30000 fine from the Council for almost anything .(1) And not being able to get your property back for years. Most of them would be now be classed as to risky. The situation was summed up the 13 year daughter of one of the applicants during a viewing. ` We were living round the corner on Cookson Street for the last five years, and our Landlord sold up, ` My mum as viewed lots of properties but no one will take us. Because their are 4 of us. ` (2) Despite good references etc, I knew when she made the statement I would not be taking them. They would not qualify for rent guarantee Insurance.
(1) The council is now Judge , Jury, and Executioner, It is worth logging onto the council webb sites and look at the scale of Fines.
(2) This statement was made last year , there are almost no rental properties to view in the area at the moment.

Mick Roberts

12:44 PM, 9th October 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Northernpleb at 09/10/2020 - 10:51
U say it perfectly.

We get 'forced' to increase the rent. If it don't wash, we sell.

And when anyone that can read reads the Nottingham Councils 37 or 39 conditions with sub menu's A to G, it makes u want to cry & wish you could have free Legal Aid, & think How can my existing tenants ever comply with them conditions?

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