Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
If Councils up and down the Country ask the question Have you got any children under age five years in this property there is a reason for the Question.
The clue is in Cllr Paul Clokie’s statement The council’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Clokie said: “In cases such as this where a young family were without hot running water and the matter was not resolved, it was right that the council stepped in and took this matter further!
Ashford Council has 1500 families on its waiting list.
It does seem to me that Ashford Council has not thought it out terribly well!
Articles like this in the press are unlikely to result in Private Sector Landlords (PSL) rushing to take a young family!
The average landlord owns one BTL property. The average length of tenancy is four years.
Now what does the average PSL think when he reads such a statement?
If Councils wish to get PSL to take young families and be ONSIDE then they need to anticipate far better the reaction of a PSL reading the piece!
I take children from age 0 to 17 years. That way I reduce voids to a minimum. I do have tenants with children who have been with me for over 14 years. I assume they are happy with me as a landlord.
I have tenants with children who have been in three different houses of mine. I assume they are happy with me.
Most recently I have noticed the question from Kent Councils Do you have any three generation families?
This sets me wondering why they ask such a question?
So you think is this due to a concern about overcrowding? Or is it to do with Council Tax?
Now if a tenant moves in grandma I am very much in favour of it (albeit I do not always know). However, I am on guard? Why is that Council asking me? Is the Council trying to trip me up?
One Council found that Grandma had moved in with her son and daughter in law and small child without my knowledge or agreement?
When I asked why the Council asked the question the answer was Do not worry we are not going to take any action? So why ask the question?
In that circumstance we did not wish to lose the tenant as he was never a penny in arrears with his rent. The house was immaculate! Net result I offered him a three bed house!
So what was behind it? The tenant lost his job and applied for Housing Benefit which he is fully entitled to do.
Apparently the application flagged up a three generation house. Also two households as grandma had to pay her share of the Council Tax. Then it throws up where does Grandma sleep as she is not allowed to sleep in the same room as her granddaughter.
Now I am all for three generation houses! However, if it is a two bed house and grandma moves in after grandpa passes away there is a Statutory Overcrowding situation.
So I am thinking. Is there a situation here where the Council could take action if it chose to?
Would one Council decide to take action and the neighbouring Council not?
We have a policy that the family must fit the house which basically means a three generation family has to live in a three bedroomed house!
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