SEAL – South East Alliance of Landlords

by Neil Patterson

11:45 AM, 23rd October 2013
About 6 years ago

SEAL – South East Alliance of Landlords

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SEAL – South East Alliance of Landlords

SEAL - South East Alliance of Landlords

Members of the South East Alliance of Landlords (SEAL) are putting together a bedsit task force to go Street to Street in Southend in a war on neighbours from hell.

Judith Codarin, secretary of SEAL said: “We will choose sections of streets that are troublesome. We will find anyone who lives there and listen to issues. We will try to find landlords who aren’t members, talk to them and try to get them to join.”

SEAL was formed to coordinate a response to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s plans to introduce Selective Licensing. It represents owners of almost 6,200 properties with hopes to represent 95 per cent of the local rental sector within three years.

SEAL – South East Alliance of Landlords

SEAL members can be easily identified by a sticker in a front window of their properties.

All but one of the 65 complaints received to date, varying from maintenance issues to more complex Freehold problems, have been resolved by SEAL, the last received to be dealt with within the next few days.

Self-regulation in this way is hoped to free up Southend Council to concentrate on non-members, but with only four Council officers to police over 6,000 other rental properties tenants home-owners are still suffering from a few bad landlords and nightmare neighbours.

Chairman Martin Ransom hopes to set up a new arm capable of helping landlords bring low-quality housing up to standard and said: “We have brought in a new member of the board with experience in this area. He has worked with a specific landlord, with whom the council has had historical issues. He has worked with him to get him up to standard.”

As quoted on their own website “By becoming a member of SEAL, you are demonstrating that you are willing to agree to a higher standard of management. It is vital that SEAL membership is widespread throughout the Borough of Southend as the larger our membership base, the more we can demonstrate to the Council our effectiveness. It is important also that membership continues to grow, as if SEAL fails, the Council retains the power to reconsider Selective Licensing.”

Mark Alexander, founder of Property118 and The GOOD Landlords Campaign commented “it is refreshing to see this kind of initiative and especially one so well supported. We have a long held opinion that Selective Licensing is not the answer to anti-social behavioural problems or criminal elements operating in the Private Rented Sector. We hope the group will take a look at the enforcement model being adopted by Lewisham Council and learn from that. The SEAL initiative could prove to be a superb method of routing out and reporting the worst offenders. Sadly a handful of criminals can spoil the reputation of an entire sector. Enforcement is required, NOT a stealth tax on good landlords which is ignored by the true villains.”



Comments

Anon

13:06 PM, 23rd October 2013
About 6 years ago

Surely the Council already know who the real villains are? I agree with Mark, enforcement is what is required and I look forward to reading the updates from Ben Reeve-Lewis on the thread which Mark Alexander's comment links to.
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Adam Alexander

13:09 PM, 23rd October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anon " at "23/10/2013 - 13:06":

We agree.

Well done to SEAL for their efforts to date. It would be nice to hear from some of their members.
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John Daley

16:56 PM, 23rd October 2013
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam Alexander" at "23/10/2013 - 13:09":

Outstanding, if every town and region did this the sector would really be able to prove that self regulation actually makes a difference.

Ben Reeve-Lewis

22:15 PM, 24th October 2013
About 6 years ago

I recently met Phil from Southend Council who works on this scheme at a recent housing adviser's conference.

Straight away I loved the idea and ethos.

My Mob, with me in charge as Enforcement Coordinator are targeting our criminal (Never use the wishy-washy term rogue) landlords. as Anon says, we know who they are, we know what properties they own and in many cases we even have their personal bank account details and in some cases, even their wedding photographs....trust me....we do. Councils have powers that most people dont, in relation to the detection and prevention of crime.

However I see robust enforcement as the extreme end of the stick that needs to be wielded. On the other end, when we have the criminals out of of business and under control is the carrot , where we turn around to the landlord community as a whole and partner up and I see the Southend model as a wonderful example of where we need to go.

I am working on ways to involve our local decent agents and landlords to support our zero tolerance approach to the idiots who are giving them a bad name. If we can get XXX support for the council's initiative the criminals will see that they have nowhere to hide and that the genuine PRS community is stacking up against them. It will also provide a safety kite mark for tenants who will be wary of signing up to any landlord who isnt part of the scheme.

What I like about the Southend thing is the idea that it can raise standards and set a new benchmark that honest people and good conditions are the norm. In fact this is already so but so far there isnt much of a platform for decent landlords to let the world know that they are just that and the criminals are a small number of weirdos who arent representative of their peers.

6,200 properties made available to Southend's tenants???????? What more proof do you need? and not a licence in sight!!!!! True partnership working.

Mark Alexander

10:52 AM, 25th October 2013
About 6 years ago

If I had properties in Southend I would sign up in a heartbeat. Maybe when we convert The GOOD Landlords Campaign into a registered charity Southend and others will join forces with us to roll this out Nationally. Please search Google for Good Landlords Campaign Board of Directors"
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