The Great PRS Licencing Debate

The Great PRS Licencing Debate

16:19 PM, 20th April 2012, About 12 years ago 7

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Whilst there were only 50 delegates at the event the speakers were all very high profile. The debating panel included CEO’s from ARLA, the NLA, The Property Ombudsman and Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of Newham who sparked off controversial debates surrounding his plans to introduce compulsory licencing for Newham landlords (read my thoughts below the video). The feedback after the event has been tremendous with interest from the press and many tweets such as




The propaganda materials that Newham Council were putting around yesterday really made me angry. I wonder whether all those overcrowded properties in Newham they talk about are all owned by criminals? Just suppose a poor quality letting agent was to take on one dodgy tenant who subsequently sublet. The landlord would be desperate to get the tenants out but this could take months if the legal protocols were followed. I wonder whether, if the landlord were to call Environmental Health and ask them to shut the property down, whether they would? I doubt that would actually happen. It would put an immediate end to the problem for the landlord in terms of getting the occupiers out but the council would then have to re-house the tenants at their cost. Do you think they would do it or would they seize the opportunity to take pictures for the ongoing propaganda?

Anyhow, rant over for now, over to you ………..

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11:28 AM, 21st April 2012, About 12 years ago

Compulsory licensing for landlords sounds a very good idea.  It will help stop rogue landlords exploiting people as well as other criminal acts like money laundering, renting on residential mortgages etc.

Well done Mayor of Newham

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:29 PM, 21st April 2012, About 12 years ago

Brit, as we all know, talk is cheap. What makes you think that criminals will pay the £30 per property licence fee? Where do you think the money will be spent? How will charging £30 per property to good landlords stop criminal landlords from renting unsafe overcrowded properties?

Thank you for responding, I am very grateful that you have shared your point of view, which we already know to be anti landlord, but it would be nice if you would add a bit more substance to the points you are making.

17:49 PM, 21st April 2012, About 12 years ago

What no one seems to talk about is that the higher the levels of barrier to a landlord, then ultimatlely, the higher rents become. Frankly, since the introduction of licences for 5 or more on 3 floors, gas safety certificates, HMO rules, electrical safety certificates, HMO enforced maintenance regimes, threats of planning requirements and so on, rents have really gone up. Personally, as a landlord, I like it, but the tenants in whose name this is done don't seem so keen.

Mary Latham

20:16 PM, 21st April 2012, About 12 years ago

Taxi drivers have to be licenced - ask any London cabbie about the problems of private hire cars out picking up their fares. Not being licenced does not stop them and they are on the roads every day in broad daylight breaking the law. Most passengers are totally unaware that unless these cars are booked via their booking services they are NOT INSURED!

Dogs licensing stopped in the UK in 1987 - is it my imagination or is there now less dog faeces on our grass verges?

Licensing only increases the overheads of those who are law abiding in the first place it makes not difference at all to those who are not. There are enough pieces of legislation under which a local authority can enforce standards and levels of occupation on landlords - how often do they use them?  How many prosecutions a year do the pursue?

If these authorities are not enforcing the existing regulation why would paying a licence fee make any difference?  It won't. Properties cannot be hidden nor moved, local authoriities know where they are - why are they ignoring the issues?  Why are they allowing criminal landlords to continue to house some of the most vulnerable people in our society?  How can TV producers find these landlords where local authorities, whose jobs it is to enforce the law, do not see them?  Because they are looking the other way and allowing it to continue, they are so short of places to house people they dare not close these criminals down.

I am glad that the Mayor of Newham has taken this step because he will prove that licensing landlords makes no difference - just what we need to make the point - a neat own goal. I would like to be the person who stands against him when he comes up for re-election.

I am proud to be a good landlord and I am tired of criminals bringing us all into disrepute, if I thought that issuing a licence would make any difference at all I would volunteer to collect the fees.

1:35 AM, 22nd April 2012, About 12 years ago

Also what the crafty mini-cab firms do is for a club like Tiger-Tiger in the Haymarket a mini-cab firm which has an 'arrangement' with the club has a person from the mini-cab firm in tha entrance of the club with a clip-board to where club- goers 'pre-book' a mini-cab.
The controller radios through and funnily enough 30 secs later a mini-cab turns up to pick up the fare!
This is effectively hailing a taxi, which of course you can only do when you have done the 'knowledge'
This costs considerable amounts of money and a very expensive purpose built cab which may only be used for 10 years.
No mini-cab is subject to these onerous yet appropriate requirements.
Black cabs have an enviable worldwide reputation and yet these 'mini-cabs' have no such requirements.
You do not know who is driving you or anything about the condition of the vehicle or what the fare will be.
which type of vehicle would you wish your sozzled daughter to get into!!?
Black cab drivers are understandably put out at this blatant 'stretching' of the 'pre-booking' requirement for a mini-cab.
There are analogies here in that good LL do the right thing but bad ones don't and effectively undercut and make more profit by not carrying out all the LL requirements.
TFL haven't done anyting about this effective 'mini-cab' touting for years.
What's the chance that councils will do anything about criminal LL who are trading anti-competetively just like these rogue mini-cab firms.
Again where would you rather be living; in a property with a propere LL or one of these highlighted wrongun LL!!?

10:55 AM, 25th May 2012, About 12 years ago

I own a Lettings Agency in Stratford and do not understand the thinking behind Newham Councils proposals. We work with good quality Landlords and professional tenants who do not cause any problems for the area. The tiny minority of rogue Landlords will simply ignore the licensing requirements in the same way that they ignore the other legislation that is currently in place to protect tenants. There is already ample legislation in place to act against rogue Landlords without the need to penalise the vast majority of Landlords who are committed to providing good quality accomodation for their tenants. There is currently a real shortage of available rental property in the Stratford area which has led to a large increase in rents over the last 18 months. If Newham is the only borough in the country to introduce compulsorary licensing of all Landlords then this will act as a barrier to additional Landlords investing in the area which will further limit supply and consequently continue to put upward pressure on rents.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

12:50 PM, 25th May 2012, About 12 years ago

Here, here. Very well said Andrew. Let's hope the powers that be are reading this and that other landlords, letting agents and tenant groups feel the same way.

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