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