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Council sends 3,000 warnings to landlords in one year

A Midlands council says it’s sent thousands of letters to landlords in the last 12 months in response to complaints from tenants.

Nottingham council says it dealt with 2,103 requests for help from people living in private rented housing in the last year.

Some 3,033 letters and legal notices were sent to landlords and 61 formal warning notices were issued between April 2020 and March 2021.

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In the last three years, since January 2018, the council has issued 59 Civil Penalty Notices and 16 cases have gone to court for prosecution. 

Many of these relate to landlords failing to apply for a Selective, Mandatory or Additional Housing Licence and many include sub-standard housing conditions.

The council - in an annual report made public this week - claims stand-out activities in the past year include:

- five properties had emergency works completed to make them safe or where emergency works could not be done the property was shut down;

- eighteen properties were served with Improvement notices asking for works to be done to reduce or remove hazards such as no smoke alarms;

- thirty one notices were served to deal with nuisance issues or health risks such as lack of hot water;

- emergency measures were taken to deal with one dangerous building;

- eleven notices were served to deal with public health issues such as blocked drains;

- four notices were served to deal with pests or to deal with lots of rubbish that may attract pests.

 

 

A council spokeswoman says: “We know that most landlords in the city are decent landlords and want to rent out properties at a good standard. However, there are still properties that lag behind and have serious safety issues that need to be addressed.

“The council’s housing licensing schemes are there to help maintain or improve property standards, and as the action we’ve taken throughout the pandemic shows, we are helping to do just that. We will take action against those landlords who do not improve their homes or fail to work with us to make sure their property is licensed.

“Every tenant deserves to live in a clean and safe home and leaseholders shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the costs of basic safety works. We will continue to work with landlords to help them physically improve their properties, but also to make them more aware of their legal obligations as landlords and ensure they comply with certain licence conditions.”

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    Tenants should not have to foot the bill for basic safety works but they do foot the bill for selective licensing in my properties - £890! When inspected my properties were 'well above the required standard' so they receive nothing extra for this payment - but nor do I - so their rent (like many others in Nottingham) went up to cover the cost.

    Nothing is achieved with selective licensing that couldn't be achieved under other legislation other than money to run Nottingham City's Housing Dept and a rent increase.

    Nottingham City Council is broke so they use Selective Licensing to plug the financial gap and who pays (literally) - the tenants!

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    Many Council’s are cash strapped sometimes because of mismanagement, it makes little financial difference to them personally if they waste. Licensing same way in London but application fee £400.00 more than Nottingham.They pretend to be the Tenants friend while costing them a fortune and blame LL’s. The implications of Licensing gives them the opportunity to take tens of thousands in fines anytime they want, LL always has to plead guilty whether guilty or not otherwise end up in Crown Court and fine doubles or worse. Why do we have to Re-License again and again some now for 3rd & 4th time while some LL’s are not required to License even once because it’s the type of person they rent to is the deciding factor whether a License is needed or not. So it’s the People of a certain type we have to License not the Property, are people not all equal before the Law.

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    So this council admits that most landlords are good, which means the licencing of their properties was pointless. And the letters/notices/fines that were issued came about because tenants brought the issues to the council's attention and the council used existing legislation to enforce standards. We do not see in this article any issues that were highlighted and solved through expensive licensing.

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    It should not be up to the Tenant as to whether warning letters are sent to LL’s or not.
    How many warning letters did they send to Tenants or are they all Saints in other words its 3’000 to nil, now that’s what I call a level playing giro.

  • Theodor Cable

    Must have cost them at least £7,000 plus to post and paper costs and ink...Never mind the time costs that could have been used more efficiently.

    What a waste of my money.......

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    We had the Mayhew Report / HMO Consultation. A guy came from York and Held meetings at 3 venues, he told us what was coming -in and that’s exactly what happened. So it was not a Consultation at all, just going through motions to say they had a Consultation. I understand he got paid £100k for that. It was pre-decided for sure, it was been put up on us regardless, silly me thought we would have a say.

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    I had an HMO in a council block for 3 years on a licence every year. Young fresh head came and told me to put Close Door stickers on doors. Smash Glass box with key in next to New Front door they fitted, kichen blanket, fite extinguisher, extra smoke alarms up stairs and top of stairs as well as by kitchen door. Mine was a 3 bed. Next door they had same property but with 5 persons in, council tenants. I asked them if they applied the same rules to their flat, no was the answer, so i refused to do it to mine. They then confirmed they would apply the same rules to their property as they did to mine. All good. But in the forth year they decided not to have a HMO licence on properties not more tban 5 stories with only 3 residents. I asked for my money back, still waiting. Total muppets and clueless council. Liberal run and about to get the boot. Largest LLs in UK is our councils and the most lawbreakers.

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    I have the same issue in Liverpool all 13 of my HMO’s have licenses and selective where relevant, not once have I had a visit, inspection or any input what so ever......just over 10k’s worth of fees though!!
    Guess what happens next....housing department & bulk of council gets taken over by central government for corruption and back handlers! 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️😂 of it wasn’t so hypocritical it would be funny!

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    Neil, my friend we understand what happened in L’pool but don’t complain, you can feel aggrieved about your £10k but be thankful you didn’t have an inspection, when they do come there are going to have something to say that’s going to cost you a lot more, no matter how good you might think your property is, they are going to show you who’s boss to stamp their Authority.

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    I'm sure you are correct there Michael, but isn't this why HMOs have had there day, stick to one family houses rental income might be less but so are costs and agro

     
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    Agreed Andrew, but in Scotland even a 3 bedroom house let to 3 unrelated adults needs an HMO licence, costing nearly £2000 initially and £950 every 3 years thereafter. Expensive modifications like fire doors, mains operated interlinked smoke alarms are also mandatory.

    The same house let to 2 junkie mothers with a herd of feral children needs none of the above!

    On the bright side, when these requirements were brought into force in 2004, rents rose by around 30%, so the costs were covered in the first two years, but the tenants continue to pay the higher market rents, so I am now gaining from this totally unnecessary over regulation.

    Shelter, Generation Rant and most tenants are too thick to realise how they have been ripped off by Councils and our SNP dictatorship.

     
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    Its a better model far less hassle, costs & void periods for sure. I never wanted HMO’s they were imposed on me when everyone was not related. Council’s have this mad idea you are making a fortune if you are a HM0, in truth they are robbing you. I heard them say several times at meetings you were making 6% more, not the case at all. Sharers come & go all the time causing you extra work between let’s and an administration nightmare now that so much compliance and obstacles have deliberately been put in your way.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    So what Nottingham are saying is, such is the ( lack of ) seriousness of the PRS disrepair, that only 20 Civil penalties have been issued each year.
    Not much justification for a Licensing scheme then !

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