Nottingham Landlord Licensing – Letter to Councillor

by Readers Question

15:40 PM, 7th August 2018
About a month ago

Nottingham Landlord Licensing – Letter to Councillor

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Nottingham Landlord Licensing – Letter to Councillor

Subject: Re: Landlord Licensing

Dear Councillor Urquhart,

My wife and I have just spent a day and a half applying for 7 licences for 7 almost identical apartments in one building owned by our company in the Park, that notorious hotbed of antisocial behaviour in the city????

I have to report that in all of our thirty plus years in business I have never come across such a poorly designed questionnaire. The endless unnecessary time consuming duplication and ambiguous questions are to say the least totally mind boggling. In our case, 7 separate payments for one building being part of the nonsense!!!  Did those responsible for the design of the questionnaire think of trialing it across a diverse group of landlords in advance of it going live?
Could I suggest you personally trial the licence application without any help or advice.

Having completed and submitted our 7 applications we are still unsure whether they have been correctly completed, as there seems to be no easy way to  read back through the submission. The pages are not numbered so you have no idea where you are within the form and a printout of the application does not show whether the required support documentation has been included.

The consequence of imposing this licence application on private landlords will probably, no doubt, work in the council’s favour through the imposition of a huge number of £30,000 fines on the IT illiterate landlords who for their sins possess limited computer skills.

Bad landlords will of course not respond and you will therefore need to find them if you can, in order to prosecute. Good landlords who make every effort to act in the best interests of their tenants will no doubt be paying for this legally questionable scheme!

Regards

Chris

PS Councillor Urquhart responded that she would forward on my comments to the appropriate department.



Comments

Monty Bodkin

19:14 PM, 7th August 2018
About a month ago

Thanks Chris, sums it up perfectly.

Now I've done it a couple of times, I can work round it, but the first time was excruciating, clearly set up by those totally clueless about the PRS.

Suggest Councillor Urquhart trials it, unaided.
-And then takes the responsibility.

Monty Bodkin

19:26 PM, 7th August 2018
About a month ago

Incidentally, as a direct consequence of this I am in the process of selling up in Nottingham, never to return again.
Property is such an illiquid asset, it takes a while but I will be long gone when they renew this in 5 years time.
And before any bright spark says 'good-riddance', I was one of the first to register for this crap. Who's going to take my place?

https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2018/7/
shock-figures-low-take-up-for-licensing-scheme-that-starts-tomorrow

However, local media reports in recent days have suggested that applications have been received from only 10 per cent of the city's properties.

Ajay Pamneja

8:10 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Yes, totally agree.
I had to do something similar with 3 apartments in the same building too. It is a time consuming, laborious, poorly designed process.

Above all, I have never understood how Selective Licensing can reduce the problems they claim to be solving. Majority of problem properties (and tenants) tend to be in Social Housing or with landlords (as pointed in the original post) who operate under the radar anyway. The councils seem never able to track them down, anyway.

Mike

9:40 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

That clearly shows that Property Licensing as it is called was designed or intended to drive out rouge landlords, those who allowed sub-standard accommodation on market and charged full rent and offered run down properties, landlords or property managers are expected to be crime free, i.e. with no criminal record, so then why not call it a landlord License, like all those who wish to drive on Britain's roads have to have a driving license, you do not need to give the details of the car you will be driving, and if you were a bad driver you could be fined or even banned from driving any car, our politicians have lost their grey matter, they just cannot plan, design laws, but stupidly bent on raising as much cash as they can by designing draconian laws that has nothing to do with the actual problem, like cars if you were a driver, naturally you would not be carrying more than the number of passengers that car was designed for and so likewise any property you would not be stuffing 10 tenants into a 1 bedroom flat would you? and if you did then if that came to council's notice they could then take action against that landlord for any issues that don't comply with normal property standards being kept to, like cars, you need MOT, insurance etc, and good order of maintenance, hence same way any landlord renting property should offer decent standard property to designed number of occupants meeting all the relevant building standards, and other criteria, which does not need specifying, your driving license is not issued to you per car, car can be any size, can be a two seater or a 4 or a 5 or a mini bus, but the rest of that car should comply with standards, and you as a driver only carry maximum number of people it is designed for, if caught you face the consequences. That is how a property license should be designed. So in the end, if you earned a criminal record for some non-driving offense, you are not denied a driving license are you?
So if you own two or three cars do you need more than one driving license? WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR POLITICIANS? have they lost their nuts? and guess what someone will come up and say oh there is a lot of difference between a property and a car, yes I know, but we are talking about property license then why do you care about criminal component of a landlord?

Mick Roberts

9:43 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Brilliant Chris.

As u say hotbed of ASBO.
If you have time, please do Freedom of Information request to see what ASBO's, trouble, complaints they had.
Then when no ASBO's come back as on many of my roads, complain again why your roads included. I've been asking the same question 5 months with no answer.
David Hobbs said it's an 'area'. How big is an area? UK? Midlands?
I've now took the complaint to Ombudsman & want all other Landlords to as well, so hopefully Ombudsman will think 'What's going off here'.
Govt has said when these 'areas' improve, they want them removed out Licensing. Well, if no trouble now, should they be in to start with?

Urquhart don't reply, she's been wrong on every account so far when she has talked. They assumed EVERY landlord was bad, & they got shock when loads of my tenants wrote in to say What are you playing at? We get on with Landlord, new boiler, kitchen, etc. And u have now gave us rent increase.
Licensing honestly thought all landlords were bad & all tenants hated us 'cause the Council only hear from the tenants that's having trouble & shouting out. They don't hear from the good houses good tenants as they don't have any reason to shout out.

The website was supposed to have been trialled. More info for u, their web designer was away in July, the time they asked us to do the forms. U couldn't make it up, could u.
I have a web man do me the odd stuff. He said it is the worst web site he has ever seen.

I'm in top 10% of people with computer literate skills, 3 screens in my office, 2 offices, & I struggled. So as u say, the IT illiterate Landlords gonna' struggle.

As u say, 25,500 75% of houses Landlords haven't been done, not responded. I told 'em March time this would happen.
We need to say Please don't talk to us till you've found the other Landlords, otherwise we should have done what they have done & not come forward.

Urquhart always passes on to Licensing who if they do reply, have not listened at all as they have no answers.
I feel sorry for those in Licensing that's been bought in from outside & they too are stumbled with how the council work. It's been an absolute shambles.

Please complain about everything & go to Ombudsman & keep in touch.

http://www.selectivelicensingtruth.co.uk

Mick Roberts

9:51 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 08/08/2018 - 09:40
Yes Mike, I don't think even Nottingham know whether it's a License on Landlord or property.
I think it was originally supposed to License on Landlord. So why charge me 36 times then?
Why ask for my passport 36 times?
And as they've gone along, it's now Landlord & house.
Should have been check on us, then no more duplicated info. Then MOT on each house. How simple is that?
And then at least the houses would be getting checked.
But then also, they should be checking tenants that wreck our houses. They want us to put tenant we don't know in 100k house we own? When you buy 100k car or house, u required to adhere to the strictest checks.

Mike

11:13 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Don't forget when it comes to renewing in 5 years and you will have to do this all over again.

Rob Crawford

11:27 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Does Nottingham Council not have regular meetings with representatives of landlords & agents? If not maybe this would be a good suggestion that would be seen by them in a positive light. Members could include NLA/RLA/ARLA/NALS etc reps.

Mick Roberts

11:45 AM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Nottingham council don't have meetings with the right Landlords or Agents.
Saying that, some of the new people in Licensing have met us & listened to some of us.
But they go back & it seems their hands are tied what can only be the Labour councillors above.
Example one question on one house is Have u any more properties. You tell 'em.
You do another house, it asks u the same question.
One agent told 'em he cannot upload 450 houses EACH time. And they've still not changed the website.

Luke P

13:06 PM, 8th August 2018
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 08/08/2018 - 11:27
Some of those agencies are in bed with certain councils on these SL schemes! They ensure they are the 'preferred-provider' when it comes to accreditation that attracts a small reduction in fees. So very wrong and I would urge any LL to step away from the national associations. Their 'pragmatic' view was that if they help one group of LLs, then they'll end up helping us all...and that just wouldn't do as it's too costly (salaries to pay and all that).

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