Nottingham Landlord Licensing – Letter to Councillor

by Readers Question

15:40 PM, 7th August 2018
About A year 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

Rob Crawford

13:14 PM, 8th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 08/08/2018 - 13:06
I agree, what we've done in Bristol/Bath is set up our own local landlord association (www.allwessex.co.uk). It is now more active locally than the nationals, so can't be ignored. Let me know if you want help setting one up!

Mandy Thomson

10:58 AM, 9th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 08/08/2018 - 09:40
Really good analogy, Mike, but I believe it's not unreasonable to ask that someone who holds keys to someone else's home and is responsible for ensuring it's a safe and decent living environment should be checked to ensure they have not committed any sexual, discriminatory or housing related offences just as someone should not hold a driver's licence if they previously killed someone through reckless driving.

However, I'm totally against local authority licensing, for several reasons, but I would not be opposed to a light touch scheme at national level provided it was fairly implemented and managed.

Michael Barnes

11:09 AM, 9th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 08/08/2018 - 09:40
but we are talking about property license then why do you care about criminal component of a landlord?

Because evidence of past criminal behaviour may suggest that one will engage in criminal behaviour in the future.

If a criminal drives a car, then they do it for a very short time and are unlikely to affect anyone else by doing so (yes, they may be using it to commit a crime).

However, letting a property is a long term activity that does affect other people (the tenants), and the easiest way to make money is to avoid all the legal obligations placed on a landlord, overcrowd and not make repairs, and accept the occasional slap on the wrist as being 'cost of doing business'. Adding something to their criminal record is of no consequence.

Ben Reeve Lewis is doing a series of articles on how criminal landlords operate on http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/blog-posts/ . It has opened my eyes to what a small proportion but significant number of tenants are facing.

Jessie Jones

21:57 PM, 11th August 2018
About A year ago

It would be interesting to find out whether or not they can refuse a licence on the grounds of being an improper person. If, for example I had multiple convictions for fraud and assault, can the council prevent me from earning a living as a landlord? The reason I ask this is because I don't think they could ever prevent anyone from earning a living this way, in which case they have no need for such information. It grinds my gears that they ask for this information, without any real authority to do so, but if we don't provide it then we can't request a licence.

Rob Crawford

23:19 PM, 11th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 11/08/2018 - 21:57
The local authority issue the licenses. So if you do not meet the licensing conditions set by them then they will not award the licence. In this case ypu would not be able to legally let a licensable property. I fail to see why any good landlord would object to a 'fit & proper person' check. What I object to is paying for the check and for it not to be done!

Monty Bodkin

10:16 AM, 12th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 11/08/2018 - 23:19
Because Rob, these are conditions made up by councils about how they think things should be done, in their opinion.

It is not the law of the land decided on by proper scrutiny and process.

A quick example from the application form;

"Repairs- who is responsible for what, how you are contacted, any limit to free spending before authorisation required and who authorises spends etc."

Since when was that part of the Landlord and Tenant act?

Here's another;

" You must let certain persons know in writing that you have made this application or give them a copy of it. The persons who need to know about it are:
any mortgagee of the property (ie mortgage company)"

There are many other examples.

As for 'fit & proper person' -who decides?
Some anti-business ideologist with an ingrained hatred of all capitalism and landlords?

I'm a good landlord and I strongly object to it. It is an abuse of power.

Monty Bodkin

10:37 AM, 12th August 2018
About A year ago

Incidentally.
From the Nottingham City Council website;

"From 1 August 2018 it will be against the law for any landlord to rent out a property in designated Selective Licencing areas without a licence."

There are more than 20,000 properties without a license in Nottingham today, 12 August 2018.
Are those landlords who have broke the law 'fit & proper persons'?
Will they be granted a license in the unlikely event of ever being caught?

Luke P

10:50 AM, 12th August 2018
About A year ago

As far as NCC are concerned, it’s now open season on collecting fines.

It’s alright financially ruining these LLs, but when they are stuck with a property and very few options, it means they’re likely to sit on it (empty) than sell in negative equity. This helps nobody.

Truth is, though, they won’t find them all…or even the majority, which is grossly unfair on the compliant LLs and will be further evidence that keeping your head down and ignoring these scam is the way to go.

Rob Crawford

11:38 AM, 12th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 12/08/2018 - 10:37
One to monitor!

Mick Roberts

17:40 PM, 12th August 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 11/08/2018 - 21:57The Criminal records check.
I have asked 'em what will happen when u get bad check come back & Landlord has got 50 tenants, Are u kicking 'em out?
Has Landlord got to stop even though he may have them successfully housed for 20 years?
I've had no answer, just we will look at it.
Problem with Nottingham's Licensing is, VERY expensive.
Did ridiculous conditions on existing tenants.
And like the check above, Hello we are already here, u can't impose these things on us when already up & running.
They've have had much less backlash if been sensible price & only new houses, new tenants, swap of tenant etc.
Tenant's din't sign up to these things, they in the house now, it's too late to say We know you've lived there 20 years, but now you've got to do this & that & I know the rooms were the right size when you moved in, but we decided they are now too small & I'm sorry, but you shun't have had another kid, for that reason, we now making u homeless.
This council is promper numptess, not got a clue how people live.
I think cause of the backlash they had off me for loads of stuff including the Criminal records check, they have been surprised that my record clean.
And if anyone has done that check, wow that is a process!!!!
Well said Monty, how the council THINK things should be done.
Monty, as you say they ask How are repairs done. Here was my reply on every form, every house you have to fill THE SAME THING IN:
What do you mean? Tenant rings me, I ring builder. How else would it be done? I've been doing this 20 years & if you don't know how fixing houses work, you shun't be asking that question.
And the Letting mortgage company know & then it tells you to put the date in. Hang on a minute, I han't got a date 'cause u asking me when I've told mortgage company that I've made this app-How can I do that 'cause I ain't finished the app yet, nor got a copy of it as you've not gave me a copy of it, you fools!
Monty, you should have mentioned the associated colleagues bit. Here is more bits from my notes on the stuff they ask for that is bamboozling with stupidity:
You ask:
Please enter the maximum number of people you would like the property to be licensed for.
What if one more person moves in?
What if they have new baby?
What if new family moves in with more people?
Have u read & checked YOUR own website? You say this:
Which storey(s) is the property is occupied over (select all that apply) What does this mean in English?
Your enter address system is not set up to take PO Boxes as you said it would.
It looks like you’ve done nothing to hide peoples addresses on the system, which u said u would look into.
This was massive concern amongst a lot of Landlords. The female Landlords were horrified.
You do know Landlords have been shot at home by tenants don’t u?
Landlord is always wrong in tenants eyes u know.
What you gonna’ do when Landlord or Landlords family is injured by tenant coming round their house because you’ve gave them THEIR HOME ADDRESS?
Can us Landlords have your HOME ADDRESS DAVID Hobbs? Anton? Wakur? No, its’s not on is it, so why should we give people our home address WHO ALWAYS THINK WE ARE BAS___DS when the heating has broke down for 21 seconds.
You ask for DASH accreditation number. My certificate han’t got one.
I can go no longer within the page. But I try the other questions on the same page.
I han’t got Basic disclosure certificate on computer. They only posted me one & their form to big to pdf & their online form said I han’t applied for one.
You ask:
Please answer the questions below in relation to unspent convictions. There are two parts to this; one in relation to the licence holder and next anybody that the licence holder is ‘associated’ with. In short, this is anybody that the licence holder knows, friends, family and business relations etc.
Does any associate of the proposed licence holder named above have any unspent convictions in respect of any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, or violence or drugs or any offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003?
Are you nuts? Anybody that I know? Well yes, some of my tenants have been locked up for murder.
Some of my mates I han’t got a clue what naughty misdemeanours they’ve done in the past 40 years. I thought you’d tested this form? ONCE AGAIN YOU’VE NOT ASKED PEOPLE THAT MATTER.
I chucked random number in the DASH thing for now.
You ask:
Please give details about the arrangements or agreements in place.
What are you on about? Tenant rings me, I ring builder. Is that the answer you are looking for?
You say:
You must let certain persons know in writing that you have made this application or give them a copy of it. The persons who need to know about it are:
any mortgagee of the property (ie mortgage company) to be licensed
Howl long do you think this is going to take?
You haven’t got my mortgage providers address in your drop down bar, so I can’t carry on. Again I make something up.
You ask:
Date notice served to mortgage provider>
Again are u crackers? How can we give u the date cause u han’t gave us the notice yet?
You ask:
Are there any people aged less than 5 years, over 65 years or with a disability living within the property at present
My tenants are popping kids out like Christmas crackers. This is all gonna’ take time to get this info.
You asking for info on the Gas certificate, EPC etc., then u ask for the certificates. Why don’t you get the info off the certificates? You’re being paid for this. You are asking us to do 3 times as much for now half the pay with your License Fee wiping out any profit/wages/food on the table for us this year.
You are NOW asking for floor area measurements. So after all the last few months, u do need us to measure rooms. Where is the time coming from?
David Hobbs says can get measurements off Rightmove. Show me where then? Cause only 1 house for sale on this road has no measurement's.
You are now asking for uploaded floor plans. You said at meeting u do not need them.
You are going to have to ring me. Someone has to be accountable for this. It’s 30 June & I’m going away. You know how many properties I’ve got. This is impossible.
Licensing, YOU AREN’T READY FOR US. I urge u to STOP now & TALK TO US AFFECTED.
Luke, I've said you cannot even inspect our houses till you have found all the other Landlords, or we may as well have kept quiet like them.

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