Nottingham City Council Selective Licensing FOI update

by Readers Question

15:24 PM, 19th April 2017
About 2 years ago

Nottingham City Council Selective Licensing FOI update

Make Text Bigger
Nottingham City Council Selective Licensing FOI update

I have finally had a response to my FOI request. I asked the city council to breakdown the seriousness of each of the 4500 “complaints” they have received about PRS over a 4+ year period. This is their main justification for imposing the £600 fee on every PRS property in the city (not HA or AMLO property of course!) – £25 million from private landlords to deal with the “problem”

They say that they do not have this basic data and that it would not be cost effective to extract it from the 4500+ complaints to meet my request. Just as you would expect!

Councils across the country continue to use the “not cost effective” argument to avoid providing information and data they should have to hand with 42 officers based in the housing compliance section.

If they have not interrogated the 4500+ complaints they purport to have received to determine what action was necessary (enforcement / dismissal etc) then they have no justification to create a licensing scheme to address a perceived and not actual problem.

All they are using is another “feeling” that there is more anti social behaviour in areas of PRS property. Even if that were the case anti social behaviour is a matter for police and not housing departments. It is certainly not a landlords responsibility to control the behaviour of their tenants outside the property boundary!

Bear in mind as well that the city council’s own social housing complaint level is significantly above the pro rata 4500 figures being used by them to penalise private landlords.

The key bit of the response is below:

In relation to your specific queries, the Authority’s response is as follows:-

You are currently going through a consultation on a proposed licencing scheme for private rented houses in the city. In order to respond fully to this consultation I need the following information.

You have quoted 4500 recorded complaints about private landlords over 4 years. Please provide a breakdown of these complaints as follows.
1. How many complaints required immediate enforcement notice / action?
2. How many complaints lead to prosecution of landlords?
3. How many complaints lead to prosecution of tenants? (anti-social behaviour etc)
4. How many landlords were complained against? I am assuming there are landlords / organisations with multiple ownerships in the city
5. How many complaints were dismissed? (vexatious etc)
6. How many environmental health / enforcement officers / administrators does NCC currently employ?
7. Does the 4500 complaints include complaints about Nottingham City Homes properties? If so how many over the 4 years.
8. How many complaints were received for other publicly owned rented property in the city? Ie Housing Association, Almshouses, Registered providers etc.

In accordance with section 1 (1) of the Act, the Authority has a duty to confirm whether it holds the information of the description specified in the request, and if that is the case, to have the information communicated to the requester.

Regarding questions 1, 4 and 5 of your request, whilst the Authority can confirm the information you have requested is held, it is not held in a reportable format. Officers would have to interrogate the free text action diary for each of the 4508 complaints, in order to identify:
• The number of complaints at required enforcement action.
• The number of different landlords who were complained against.
• The number of complaints that were dismissed.

It has been estimated this interrogation would exceed the appropriate limit.

Harvey



Comments

chris welham

11:22 AM, 20th April 2017
About 2 years ago

Nottingham City Homes 2015/16 2406 Number of complaints received
Nottingham City Homes 2014/15 2146 Number of complaints received
Nottingham City Homes 2014/15 1733 Number of complaints resolved at first contact
Nottingham City Homes 2014/15 328 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham City Homes 2014/15 254 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham City Homes 2013/14 2144 Number of complaints received
Nottingham City Homes 2013/14 2045 Number of complaints resolved at first contact
Nottingham City Homes 2013/14 1394 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham City Homes 2013/14 1040 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham City Homes 2012/13 2991 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham City Homes 2012/13 2265 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham Community HA 2015/16 243 Number of complaints received
Nottingham Community HA 2015/16 227 Number of complaints resolved at first contact
Nottingham Community HA 2015/16 241 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham Community HA 2015/16 54 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham Community HA 2014/15 190 Number of complaints received
Nottingham Community HA 2014/15 177 Number of complaints resolved at first contact
Nottingham Community HA 2014/15 179 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham Community HA 2014/15 93 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham Community HA 2013/14 181 Number of complaints received
Nottingham Community HA 2013/14 138 Number of complaints resolved at first contact
Nottingham Community HA 2013/14 155 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham Community HA 2013/14 65 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year
Nottingham Community HA 2012/13 182 Stage 1 complaints responded to in full during the year
Nottingham Community HA 2012/13 78 Stage 1 complaints upheld (fully or partially) in the year

Chris Daniel

16:49 PM, 20th April 2017
About 2 years ago

So we ask a diffent question.
How many HHSRS inspections were carried out, and
What were the results.

Robert Mellors

10:47 AM, 22nd April 2017
About 2 years ago

Ask one or two questions at a time, instead of having a great big long list of questions all on one FOI request, that way gathering the information for answering those one or two questions would not exceed the the "appropriate limit", (whatever that may mean).

Chris Daniel

19:46 PM, 28th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Mick,
Have you seen article in March Property Investor News, Research by BRE estimates that 21% of Nottingham's PRS are 'likely to have Cat 1 hazards' ( not sure what 'likely' means from their research - worth looking into. ?

Monty Bodkin

9:29 AM, 29th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 28/04/2018 - 19:46
The same could be said of the whole country;

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/675942/2016-17_EHS_Headline_Report.pdf

In 2016, a fifth of dwellings failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard

Chris Daniel

9:56 AM, 29th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 29/04/2018 - 09:29
Yes Mont, but we need to dig into this a little more. For example Corgi HomePlan research published in February say 1 in 3 can't afford to fix 'dangerous' home faults. 57% of Brits admit there are things in their home that need repairing and they can't afford to fix. Survey of 2000 - 30% couldn't afford to and 32% didn't know how to. 49% said they would take action, if and when the problem gets worse. BRE do the research for the EHS and that is based on a sample. We could go into this in detail, and perhaps someone should. But I'm sure we can find defects in homes, - its just singling those out as Private rented and focusing in on them is misleading - But since when did the Govt or likes of other Tenant groups worry about that ! There is also on record the genuine fear that Sec 24 squeezes on landlords will have the practical effect of making less funds available for repairs and those will have to be channeled - prioritised ( where possible ) to the more serious defects. Otherwise and cosmetically, the general standard in PRS is, as a financial consequence, likely to decrease. [ maybe not in your properties, but in some for sure - its called 'o' Level economics - not that Government understand ]

Mick Roberts

10:53 AM, 4th July 2018
About 4 months ago

I won my FOI request appeal on similar to what u r asking, if anyone wants it, contact me mick.roberts2011@hotmail.co.uk.
The results are shocking. Quite a few roads WITH NO complaints or ASBO's at all, yet they've licensed these roads.
I'm going Ombudsman with this info-Took me 4 months to get it.
If any of u please know better different complaint route, please do it.

Can you Landlords please sign this & forward to all your contacts.
A small hope, we have to try anything & everything.

I'm sure we not get 10k signatures, but the more Licensing & Govt start to see these things, who knows.

“Petition calling for a review of Nottingham City Councils Selective Licensing."
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/223039

http://www.selectivelicensingtruth.co.uk/


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Shelter's website says Section 21 does not cause homelessness

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More