Licensing proposed for Loughborough during crisis!

Licensing proposed for Loughborough during crisis!

9:01 AM, 6th October 2020, About A year ago 29

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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



Comments

by Jessie Jones

17:40 PM, 9th October 2020, About A year ago

Mick, you are entirely correct. A report on the BBC showed how rents last year in Nottingham were climbing higher than the rest of the Country, and this was just after they introduced licensing.
I now only buy houses outside of the Nottingham Selective Licensing Scheme area, and the three I have let this year have all gone to tenants that previously lived inside the 'Selective' area and have wanted to move out.
Each of them have told me that it's because they get a much better house for not a lot more money.
The effect of the Scheme is pushing prices up in the neighbouring wards as well as my new ones are only just outside the scheme and demand is so high.

by Mick Roberts

7:21 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 09/10/2020 - 17:40
Yes, a lot of us saw the BBC East Midland News report. I think they did it again some months later.
Councillors still deny it to this day.
It's amazing in Nottingham as u know, cause the Council could only license 90% of Nottingham, they had to exclude 10% as agreed with Govt., that some areas they excluded as u know, were not great areas, but had to be not in the area cause of this magic 10%. And some great non trouble areas within the 90%. U couldn't make it up. I did several Freedom of Information requests on some roads they included where I have houses & ZERO trouble, ZILCH, I've had houses on there for 23 years, I know the house & road. I questioned Licensing on this & they say it's an 'area'. So good roads paying £890 a house for nothing!

Glad u seeing the high demand, I'm having that many calls from families in Council homeless hostels sharing kitchens etc. This Labour Council should hang their heads in shame.

by LaLo

9:32 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Councils have to be 'watched' and strange they never consult the very people it affects ! I constantly watch what they're up to and just as well as they're 'consulting' in our area without any warning - I wonder why? I sold up with one days grace. The worry of £30,000 - unlimited fines plus possible imprisonment as its a criminal offence is not worth the stress/worry/hair loss!

by Northernpleb

10:07 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Hi Mick , I logged on to the your area Nottingham Council webb site. Under HHSRS found 34 pages of how they intend to fine you. And the Agent. (Possibly for damage or actions taken by the tenant)
I have listed some of details below. It appears these should be added together.
Section 2.9 Consider all your Assets. (when tallying up the fine)
Section 2.10 600% of relevant weekly income
Plus Increase penalty by 100% due to income.
Also add a Financial Benefit to a penalty amounts.
Penalty Bands from £600 to £30000.
This fine appears to be for each of hazard, or alleged offence, weather you are culpable or not.

by Mick Roberts

10:39 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Northernpleb at 10/10/2020 - 10:07
Yes,
There seems to be nothing of working with the Landlord whatsoever.
It's all blown around & whacked em in the face now with their homeless problem.

600% of weekly income wowzers.

We hope one day someone will look at this & say Nottm Council, u can't do this.
They want to charge us Landlords I think it was £150 for a failed appointment.
I said So I turn up, your Inspector turns up, the tenant lets us down. Who do u think is paying that £150? Cause I ain't. So u wish to fine a vulnerable HB Benefits tenant £150 for not turning up? Cause I am not paying it. And if u make me pay it, I am getting it back off tenant weekly, then she is going to the papers to tell them.
Head of Licensing at the time said Fair point Mick, not some'at we thought of. They don't communicate with us at all when typing these things out.

by LaLo

10:49 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

As I see it. The council can fine up to £30,000 without court approval as an automatic right using their discretion. Councils are after money as their government subsidy has gone! Landlords have assets, what could be better?

by Mick Roberts

10:58 AM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by LaLo at 10/10/2020 - 10:49
And no one likes Landlords cause we charge rent. And we have to charge more rent when the Council give us a Selective Licensing Charge. So we hated even more even though we din't want this latest charge so the Govt & Council think of something else to charge us so we charge even more rent & the spiral goes up. And when tenant can't afford this rent any more, we sell & then we seen as utter evil bas__ds cause the Govt & Councils has bought this upon us.

Meanwhile remaining Landlords have a field day. They now have no competition & can charge what they like. I know, I'm one of them remaining with calls increasing each week from desperate tenants in Council Shelters shared accommodation. Except I look after my existing tenants & people I know. But with new people I don't know through Letting Agent, I'm gonna charge what I can get cause I don't know them, we have no trust built up yet & I don't know where the next Council charge is coming from.

by Gromit

12:03 PM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/10/2020 - 10:58
Something I suggested for Landlords having to increase rents due to Section 24 a while ago was to give tenants a statement that breaks out the tax and Selective Licensing elements of it. E.G. Dear Tenant: your rent is £600 pcm of which S.24 tax is £75 and Selective Licensing is £125 (the implication of course is that if these where reduced or revoked/repealed that rents would falls by those amounts).

by Mick Roberts

15:52 PM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 10/10/2020 - 12:03Yes,
Great thinking Gromit, we all should do it. Those with just one house sometimes just get on with it, but they are extra costs we din't have before & I too have been educating my tenants we don't just sit on the beach raking the rent in with no outgoings or hassle.
I've now got to go on training courses cause some Landlord 5 miles away has not been doing his repairs, so we all get fined by way of a Licensing Tax fee.
I give all my tenants the below & apologise if I cheese the odd Landlord off saying Ooh seen that all before, but we need to educate all tenants what this Govt & Councils are doing to them via charges though us:
Below is the extra costs which the Govt & Councils has forced upon us last few years, which I've now had to pay since u moved into your home. How some of u think this can be paid with no rent in is baffling.
Give 'em my list of outgoings here & ask how we pay them? Many of these new outgoings like Licensing etc. the renters have asked for these. If you want a brand new house, we all know New-builds cost more money.
We now have to do Fitness tests on new rentals £150 each house.
Electrical Installation Condition reports organisation & implementation £300+ each house.
Selective Licensing £890 just for one house.
Legionnaires checks £70 each house.
EPC’s £80 each house.
Data protection checks £40.
Carbon Monoxide detectors & smoke detectors, when wired, £300 each house.
Getting registered with Information Commission officer £40.
Floorplans, Inventories £90 each house.
Landlord has to criminal check himself & has to prove he has Right to live in UK
Increased staffing admin behind the scenes.
As you’ve seen, checks/inspections on your houses now with smoke alarms-Should be much more detailed checks.
Consultant & Legal fees to keep pace with legislation & staff training.
Letting Agent costs for new tenancies & house swaps £70pm each house.
All the above is extra costs we din’t have when many of u moved in.
Landlords are selling in their hundreds due to the increase in costs & the burden of ever increasing legislation.
Landlords are being fined when they get something slightly wrong.
As a company, we are really struggling to keep abreast with these constant legislation attacks, so much so, some of u know all new ones/swaps, we are having to place with Letting Agent.
The biggest changes are Selective Licensing & Universal Credit. Costs an absolute fortune in time & money to keep on top of it.
There are many Landlords out there who aren’t compliant, who are becoming unstuck every week.
We have no intention of selling on you & want you for the long term. Please help us to help u.

by John Daley

16:51 PM, 10th October 2020, About A year ago

If the Council is conducting a public consultation, as they are obliged to do, how exactly are they keeping this proposal from landlords ?


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