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Tory MP criticised by councillor for sticking up for landlords

A councillor has criticised an MP who came out in favour of landlords in a dispute over licensing.

Earlier this week Landlord Today reported on how Tory MP James Duddridge, who represents Rochford and Southend East, criticised the local Southend council for proposing a controversial licensing scheme.

The MP said at the time: “It will disincentivise new landlords from coming to the marketplace and give a reason for existing landlords to get out of the sector. This will lead to a reduction in the number of properties available to rent in Southend and in turn push up rent prices for residents.


"I am sure the council’s intentions are good, but this proposal will just drive the very behaviours they are hoping to avoid.”

Now an independent councillor has made a personal attack on Duddridge, who is the government’s parliamentary under-secretary of state for Africa.

Martin Terry, quoted in the Southend Echo, says: “It’s disappointing to see our local MP coming out against this. What our MP needs to do instead of spending all his time working overseas is to have a walk around his own constituency and look at the way some people are suffering in his own constituency.

“The five year licence works out at £2 a month so what’s the problem with that? There really is no problem.”

The council’s licensing deal comes after an attempt by local landlords to work with the authority on a voluntary arrangement to improve conditions in the private rental sector.

But in a consultation on licensing proposals, only 22 per cent of landlords who responded supported the initiative. 

However, the council is ignoring that and progressing the proposals, which will cover four wards.

Council leader, Ian Gilbert, says in the Echo: “Our sense is we have gone as far as we can with a voluntary arrangements and we need an arrangement that’s on a proper statutory footing where we can put a proper compliance regime into place if we are going to tackle some of the more difficult areas.”

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    5 year licence for£2 per month?

    Fine, no problems for tenants to afford that in addition to what the rent would have been without it, but licences often require expensive alterations like fire doors, upgraded smoke alarms etc.

    Are these needed and how much extra would they add to rents?

    Does this Councilor know what he's talking about?


    Yer who needs smoke alarms, fire doors & a safe home.


    By that logic every home in the UK should have fire doors and smoke alarms as a mandatory requirement. They don’t



    Rented homes have many more fires, electrical problems, mould, anti social behaviouretc. than owner occupied homes, despite the additional safety features which landlords provide, often beyond what is legally required.

    Perhaps it's renters who are to blame for these issues despite the best efforts of landlords?

    P.S.. I have never broken a toilet seat in any flat, house, hotel etc. but must have replaced more than a dozen over the years. Carelessness is dangerous - and expensive!

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    • 26 February 2021 09:21 AM


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    any additional costs imposed on LLs will end up in the tenants rent and the system will penalise tenants with good LLs. It wont stop rogue LLs - look at the issue recently in Nottingham where a LL was fined for not licensing. Stop penalising the good LLs and find a better way to tackle the issues, tenants dont have bottomless pits of money and it will fall to them to cover the cost.
    How about a property register? Councils have the ability to identify rented property. So use that information to tackle the issues.

    • 26 February 2021 10:02 AM

    Of course it will eventually get piled onto tenants. If not immediately, but for sure on contract renewals or at least with upcoming new tenants.

    In my case, any Council like this will, by definition, end up as a cost to tenants, not ever to me.


    When Nottingham introduced SL the cost was passed to the tenants immediately - Nottingham had some of the highest rent increases in the country as a result!

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    Martin Terry needs to go back to school. He states that a 5 year license equates to £2 a month!! The previous report stated that the license would be £700 (far more likely given how much hmo licenses are around the country). When I went to school, £700/60(months) = £11.66/mth!!
    Of course this is just yet another tax on the honest landlords. Those providing sub standard accommodation stay under the radar of both the councils and HMRC.


    Is he related to Dianne Abbott?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    He went to same school as Diane Abbott !


    He's been home schooled for the last year!

  • Andrew Murray

    I like that the consultation on licensing proposals said 22 % of landlords supported the initiative.
    Then what is the point of the consultation. In Greater Manchester every resident had a vote on did we want a mayor . The vote overwhelmingly said NO. Two years later we got a mayor. It was like Brexit , it doesn't matter what the voters think, they know better. Of course they do not, but they bring things in and then knob off leaving everyone to deal with the crap they created. Usually evidencing their application for their next job with just how well they did on their last.

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    yep like when they had a vote for safer minimum standard homes legislation the Toriies voted against it, safer home what next


    All homes should be safe David, owner occupied, council, housing assoc and private landlord properties, every thing comes with a price tag, and who picks the cost up ? the tenant.

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    £700pa is £2-69 per week.

    That is a big increase for Tenants to find on top of the higher rent to cover the "safety" requirements the Licence will require.

    These Councils do not understand how the PRS works and that landlords are not awash with cash.

    I would be more receptive if ALL housing had to have the same regulations but social providers can put anyone in the area and their properties do not require the same standards as private houses.

    I wonder why this is? Could it be the Council don't want to spend money bring their own properties up to the same standards?

    Perhaps they have seen that this can be a very useful new income stream which generates millions to cover officers costs and then they renew the scheme because it needs to maintain the income even though they are designed to be a one off period to bring improvements! What improvements do most schemes produce to the area - very little apart from the income to the Council.


    It’s actually over a five year period so cost spread out. The real question is what do you get back for your expenditure. Not a lot. It’s designed for councils to issue hefty fines to make them money


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