Selective Licensing Consultations

by Mark Alexander

11:33 AM, 23rd November 2014
About 6 years ago

Selective Licensing Consultations

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Selective Licensing Consultations
Selective Licensing Consultations

Landlord Opposition Groups MUST must work together!

Each time a new selective licensing consultation period begins in another local authority area we receive another post from another disgruntled landlord.

From now on, proposed articles regarding all new Selective Licensing Consultations will be directed to this discussion thread.

It appears that landlords seem to bury their heads in the sand and don’t tackle this problem, which is spreading like a virus across the UK, until such time as it affects them personally.

Groups are then formed in isolation of the the bigger picture. The same things are discussed but there is little if any joined up thinking or collaboration with similar groups.

The time has come to pool information on one single thread.

Take a lead from those landlord groups who have successfully defended against selective licensing. It is far better to learn from other peoples successes!

Learn from the successes of Milton Keynes – see the following linked threads:-

Milton Keynes abandon Selective Licensing

Milton Keynes Landlords Claim Second Victory Over Licensing 

To understand what is being discussed in other areas see these threads:-

Enforcement not legislation – PRS Hit Squads |

Additional Licensing Judicial Review |

Landlord Licensing Schemes – Raising Standards or Raising Funds?

Selective Licensing – Liverpool landlord needs help |

Newham Council new Landlord Licensing – advice needed 

Licensing Consultation in Southwark |

Croydon yet another area to introduce Selective Licensing

HMO Licensing Fees – Oxford

Enfield – Licensing meeting |

Ipswich Council refunding landlord licensing fees after Court of Appeal ruling

Oldham – Selective Licensing?

Landlords launch legal challenges over HMO licensing

Alternative to licensing/accreditation? Bad landlords, look away now 

Councils lose Court cases over HMO licence fees

HMO licence fees up 650 percent

HMO Landlords Celebrate Victory Over Reduced Licencing Fees

Newham are not granting any further change of use permissions 

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Mark Alexander

10:23 AM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ollie Cornes" at "24/11/2014 - 10:12":

OK, here's what I would do:-

1) Budget for enforcement of ASB and Housing in Council Tax
2) Make registration free for all landlords
3) Make the fine for not registering a criminal offence with fines up to £20,000 up to 5 years in prison
4) Make the fine for provision of dangerous housing unlimited and also a criminal offence
5) All fines to be paid back to the prosecuting authority, NOT central government
6) Make central government funds available for local authorities who are able to prove they have serious issues
7) Insist that all registered landlords must complete basic training and a test, similar to the CBT for riding motorcycles. By all means charge "reasonable" fees for training and testing.
8) Make it illegal for property managers and property portals to let, advertise or manage property for unregistered and unqualified landlords
9) Make it illegal for unregistered and unqualified landlords to obtain BTL mortgages

Ollie Cornes

10:30 AM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

That is a pragmatic and I suspect effective series of steps Mark. The bit councils seem to miss is that requiring all landlords to register does not mean all landlords will register and actually the ones that they most need to register are the ones most likely to not bother. It is steps like your number nine that have not been considered and which will be more effective, as they make it increasingly difficult for rogues to operate. Unless councils can identify, inspect and enforce against the really dreadful landlords & properties any regulation is a failure.

Mandy Thomson

10:33 AM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Without wanting to wade too deeply into the issue of politics, the councils that have introduced licensing (or proposed it) are almost all Labour run. Not only is "fix these exploitative capitalist landlords" part of Labour's wider manifesto, but Labour councils also have a reputation for raising council tax.... With the national election looming, they don't want to be a bad advertisement for their party, but they still need to raise funds - hence, make those "wealthy" landlords pay, after all, they can afford it (a Croydon councillor actually said that...) and fix the landlord problem at the same time - win, win! Oh, and BTW, I have it on good authority that the ring fencing of separate council cost centres isn't nearly as watertight as we're led to believe...

@Ollie - your point about being short of maintenance funds because of licensing is a really good one - and this is in fact the way tenants are likely to suffer most from the #TenantTax.

Mandy Thomson

11:04 AM, 24th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "24/11/2014 - 10:23":

Some really good ideas, Mark. I've been saying all along that the main gatekeepers are the lenders, letting agents and any organisation that advertises rental property, and this is the key to stopping rogue, or just not very good, landlords, but I'd like make two comments:

I personally believe that instead of stress testing BTL borrowers, if I were going to lend someone money to buy or refinance a rental, I'd want to know what sort of landlord they would make, who they would let to, and whether that property is in an area with a high rental demand. Assuming the borrower has a good repayment record and decent credit rating and the property is sound, IMHO it's THOSE additional factors that will determine whether the borrower is a good risk or not. My mortgage advisor recently remarked that BTL is relatively safe, low risk lending.

I've just remortgaged and I made precise details of how I would spend the money. However, the lender isn't going to check up on that - I could have lied through my teeth, then used that money to build an illegal shed in my back garden and rented it to some poor desperate family!

I'd also be concerned about letting a particular local authority keep any fines raised through prosecution - you could get some councils going on witch hunts. Would it not be better to have central government put it in a dedicated fund that councils can bid for to police their PRS properties?

Mandy Thomson

13:58 PM, 26th November 2014
About 6 years ago

There's a meeting in Croydon tomorrow involving the council, who are currently consulting on other options in addition to borough wide licensing. One of their other options is landlord accreditation, which can't be legally enforced, but what if they were to introduce licensing BUT exempt accredited landlords?

Now THERE'S a landlord licensing scheme I'd like to see!

Ollie Cornes

14:15 PM, 26th November 2014
About 6 years ago

There's an NLA piece about licensing in the Ilford local paper where Redbridge are pressing ahead with their stupid scheme.

Mandy Thomson

12:55 PM, 27th November 2014
About 6 years ago

I've just heard the outcome from yesterday's hearing at the Court of Appeal, The Queen (on the application of Regas) v LB Enfield, which is that they're awaiting the decision by His Honour Judge McKenna, which should be by 19th December.

On a positive note, the case for Regus was strongly pleaded by the Regus legal team, barristers Jonathan Manning and Justin Bates, during an all day hearing.

Jerry Jones

13:34 PM, 12th January 2015
About 6 years ago

Just had a letter about North Ormesby, Middlesbrough where I own two houses. Proposal here:

I propose to respond that they already have the powers to deal with rogue landlords and ASB by tenants but are not doing so. But they will collect £600 per property from the decent landlords.

The problem in that area is the behaviour of a substantial element of the population, which means that decent tenants simply refuse to consider living there.

Mandy Thomson

10:13 AM, 24th January 2015
About 6 years ago

For what it's worth, I've just learned that the London Borough of Harrow is trying to sneak a scheme through. I've written about it and included the link to the consultation on the Harrow page on Streetlife:

Bill Marriott

11:02 AM, 24th January 2015
About 6 years ago

Harrow are taking after Brent who introduced licensing on January 1st with many landlords totally unaware. Apparently Brent Council have sent letters to all Estate Agencies informing them of this in the hope that they will contact all their Landlords.

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