Nottingham’s new boss – Do you think I am worth listening to?

by Mick Roberts

15:09 PM, 13th May 2019
About 6 days ago

Nottingham’s new boss – Do you think I am worth listening to?

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Nottingham’s new boss – Do you think I am worth listening to?

Dear David Mellen,

You say in the Nottingham Post ‘We need to listen more’ and you talk about Homeless. I’m gathering you are acknowledging mistakes have been made.

I am the biggest Housing Benefit Landlord in Nottingham and one of the biggest Landlords in Nottingham, responsible for 350 peoples’ homes. I have 36 houses in the Selective Licensing area.

Do you think I am worth listening to? Do you think my valuable tenants lives are worth listening to?

As it appears that Councillor Linda Wooding thinks I and we are not worth listening to. Not ONCE has she spoken to me. I’d say I’m important in contributing or avoiding more to your homeless figures would you agree?

I’ve done a few FOI’s, one being homeless bill for Nottingham approx £3 million a year for 2016 2017 2018. Do you know what it is since Selective Licensing came in? I know it’s £14 million plus and once I get the figures which FOI are currently fighting, we’re gonna’ release ‘em.

Some letters enclosed from my tenants on just one condition of Licensing and I’m all for Inspections by the way on NEW people, that know what they are  letting themselves in for and signed up to what they know is coming.

I’ve evicted 6 people already PURELY cause of Licensing. Two still homeless now living in a tent by the River Trent. I could if need be, get these in the Post for a story. You may have seen some of my frustrations with Selective Licensing in the Post.

My point being, if you are listening, then come and listen. This homelessness is gonna’ get MUCH WORSE unless someone listens to us.
Apparently you only had 15,200 landlords come forward for Selective Licensing. You said there was 32,000 – 33,000. I  and we told you this was gonna’ happen. We house people, we know what happens on ground level. Those in charge of Licensing don’t.

Where has Councillor Urquhart gone now? Everything she said at the beginning turned out to be wrong.

Please don’t be one of those in 3 years time, we say told you so.

Housing Aid NPRAS, know A LOT of homelessness is from Selective Licensing, but they not allowed to shout it out, because yes you’ve guessed it, they work for the Council. Go ask them in confidence. A lot don’t even get told cause Landlords just use the Section 21, but if Landlords were asked why they are evicting and  selling the answer would be, Selective Licensing!

Licensing went FAR TOO FAR on their cost and conditions on EXISTING tenants that have lived there 20 years. You can still swallow face now, if you retracted your conditions and meet Landlords halfway with some stuff. That would get you good publicity and Media Coverage.
I’m a GREAT Landlord and I’m now doing License form filling instead of looking for new boiler for tenant.

Do you really think my tenant’s house is going to get any better, because I’ve spent 98 hours telling Licensing who my Mortgage Lender is when they already know? And sending Licensing my SAME passport 36 times? Yes, you don’t know any of this do you.

The Good Landlords and Good tenants houses have got worse so Licensing can go after bad Landlords that they can’t find cause they haven’t come forward.

  • I had to fight for months to tell Licensing their EICR policy was wrong and illegal. You dropped it eventually.
  • I had to fight for months to tell your Thumbturns policy was wrong after Landlords had already spent millions putting kids lives in danger-You eventually dropped it.
  • Same with room sizes, you want us to evict families just, because they’ve had a baby!
  • I had arguments with your staff because you weren’t issuing receipts when we paid our £360’s, 3 months later once you took advice from HMRC, you said you were right Mick.

My point is, Licensing is getting EVERYTHING wrong because of in-bred council culture.

The homeless you are seeing on the streets knocks down from the woman and kids who can’t get a normal house taking the less savoury houses that the homeless single man may have took. It all has a knock on effect.

I also know you are back to using Hostels & B&B’s again for the homeless which you are trying to keep quiet. As Councillor Urquhart pledged (& maybe Councillor Woodings) last year you won’t be using them any more.

Councillor Linda Woodings in the Post online 11 May 2019 said Universal Credit UC is causing homeless problems in Nottingham.

Councillor Linda Woodings is correct to slate Universal Credit UC, but the biggest problem in Nottingham is Selective Licensing for which I believe she supports. I’m the biggest private Landlord in Nottingham to both problems and even though UC is a problem (It has got better last few weeks if we work with the Job Centres) it is Licensing that has made much more homeless. And Licensing and it’s pathetic time consuming conditions can be SO SO easily solved.

Linda Woodings mentions escalating rents. The rents in Nottingham have ESCALATED not because of UC, but because of Selective Licensing. £780 you’ve forced tenants to pay out that already have a new boiler, new kitchen, new doors etc. All so Licensing can go after the bad Landlords that haven’t even come forward. Meanwhile the good Landlords and good tenants with the good houses have paid all this money out, so their funds are now depleted for any future repairs.

I was giving out Section 21’s like Confetti to all tenants that were being switched onto UC, so much so, this was causing alarm bells with Midlands UC. So I had a meeting with UC Midlands Complaints manager, UC area manager, Job Centre Manager, Service Centre Manager. Approx 6 weeks ago.

And do u know what’s happened since? Tenants rents are being paid, no more Section 21’s, no more evictions. And do you know all that UC did that Licensing didn’t? They listened.

I’ve not had one meeting with the decision makers since Selective Licensing started. ‘Cause u don’t like what I have to say. Even if this means tenants don’t become homeless, Landlords don’t sell in their droves, and you stop this ridiculous totally unnecessary admin that does NOTHING, but makes the tenants lives worse, as we now have no time to sort their bits out.

You talk to me, and we can stop this silly banning talking to me because apparently I’ve been writing you some poetry.

One final question. Why do I have to tell Nottingham Council Selective Licensing EVERY time a tenant has to have a baby? Does Nottingham Council tenants have to do the same? And do they then get threatened with evictions as they are then overcrowding as per official Government rules bought in Oct 15 primarily for London tenants beds in sheds? Getting evicted for having a baby? ‘Cause now the Landlord is technically breaking the rules.

Yes, another daft policy of Licensing I’ve had to fight. People that support Licensing (As I did initially), know nothing of the horrendous conditions some totally daft non-common sense high up people within Licensing have implemented.

Nottingham Selective Licensing and it’s Tenant tax has been absolutely devastating to Nottingham tenants who already had a good house and good Landlord. 79% of them according to your figures.

I and we are here to listen. You can act, or leave things as they are and watch this homeless escalate, because we are only at the start. Believe me on that.

You do know, don’t you, once you stop listening to your Labour Die hard supporters, most Nottingham tenants are against Nottingham Selective Licensing tenant tax. Now I’ve got the message out, the real truths of what we and they have to put up with. They know anyway, because they’ve all had MASSIVE rent increases and they all know someone who’s been evicted because of it. Nottingham Council could have made this much more of a success which I would have supported.

A huge amount of wasted money by good tenants in good houses, money that could have been spent on future new bathrooms, kitchens etc.

You can swallow Humble Pie and swallow your pride you know. Some of the greatest achievements in life have been accomplished by doing just that.

Why does a car MOT cost £40, takes an hour and is 75,000 more times dangerous and kills much more people than a house, why is that 20 times cheaper and takes 75 times shorter than licensing one house does?

And please, don’t for one moment, think this is about me that got forgot a long time ago, I’d be loads better off if I sold the houses, this is about getting the tenants back to where they should be with a choice if they want to move or are unhappy with their Landlord or house. Licensing has taken that choice away.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Roberts



Comments

AJ

16:33 PM, 13th May 2019
About 6 days ago

This is a great line, and should ne a national headline.

The Good Landlords and Good tenants houses have got worse so Licensing can go after bad Landlords that they can’t find cause they haven’t come forward.

Matt Wardman

9:48 AM, 14th May 2019
About 5 days ago

Mick

This FOI has just been put into Nottingham for details of their Selective Licencing cost model, used to calculate fee levels.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/selective_licensing_cost_estimat_3

One was done 5 years ago for Hyndburn, which revealed that eg they budgeted 10 minutes for their staff to check an ownership in the Land Registry. There are a lot of things rounded up eg 5 minutes to open a computer file.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/selective_licensing_cost_estimat#outgoing-231244

Back when Newham were trying to bring in their first round of licensing (2010 or so), they published data claiming that it took their staff half an hour (cost = £20 or so) to do such a check.

May be useful.

John Walker

17:38 PM, 15th May 2019
About 4 days ago

So much info crammed into one glorious rant! Why not drip-feed a little at a time to the local press? I'm sure this would be a far more effective means of spurring the Council into action, maybe from sheer embarrassment.

Mick Roberts

10:00 AM, 16th May 2019
About 3 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Matt Wardman at 14/05/2019 - 09:48
Excuse my delay, up to me neck in it clearing stuff up that should have been done the last year, but doing ruddy unnecessary Licensing admin instead of trying to order new boilers for tenants.

Yes, a lot of time that does nothing to make tenants house better.

Mick Roberts

10:07 AM, 16th May 2019
About 3 days ago

Reply to the comment left by John Walker at 15/05/2019 - 17:38Drip feeds have been put into the local press the last year.
This was a big rant cause of this article in the local Nottingham Post, New Boss saying We need to listen more & talks about Homeless.
So I've rightly or wrongly seizing that as he acknowledging something gone wrong, & us Landlords know it is Licensing.
The Councillor talks about Universal Credit, but what competent person in their right mind with common sense introduces Licensing with such stringent conditions & costs, 2 TWO months before the HORRENDOUS Universal Credit UC is bought in to Nottingham!!!!!
They all know UC is making tenants homeless up & down the country, then they bring Licensing in thinking they going after bad Landlords, whereas if they spoke to us & said here is the costs & the conditions, straightaway, we'd have said U gonna' be making lots of vulnerable tenants there homeless. And taking repairs & good refurbishment budgets away from good landlords. Worst thing for my tenants is the time it takes me on admin, when I should be doing their stuff.
None of my lot can leave me any more, even if they wanted to. No Landlord taking anyone that not got a ton of money & who can't pass the most stringent Letting Agent checks.


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