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Labour council chief says licensing deters “criminal landlords”

A London council is urging landlords to check whether their properties require licensing under a new scheme introduced this month.

Enfield’s new Selective Licensing Scheme covers properties that are privately rented to one or two persons or one family households across 14 areas of the borough. 

The Labour-controlled council’s cabinet member for Licensing and Regulatory Services, George Savva, says: “The council is committed to reducing inequality and building a fairer Enfield for all, and that means we will do everything we can to prevent criminal landlords taking advantage of people’s desperate need for a home.

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"This licensing scheme will help protect private renters to ensure they live in safe and secure homes and whilst many private landlords and agents manage their properties well and provide a good service to their tenants, the conditions being experienced by some private renters, often properties occupied by some of the most vulnerable private tenants for whom housing options are limited. 

“For those responsible landlords in the borough, schemes like this help to level the playing field.

“The Selective Licensing Scheme has been introduced in areas where evidence shows there is a large number of rented properties that have poor property conditions and standards, high level of deprivation and a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour.

“Licensing will drive up housing standards in a growing private rented sector and help both tenants and landlords manage rented properties to a higher standard.”

The cost of a five year licence is £600.

The Selective Licensing Scheme is in addition to the borough wide Additional Licensing Scheme for House in Multiple Occupation which was introduced in September 2020.

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    No Stopping them and nothing to with Criminals except make a Criminal out of LL’s.
    All to do with making money for this Council for nothing, no cost & no financial input themselves.
    6 years bartering away at this even when blocked by High Court they kept on until they got it in, why not they can rob millions off Private LL’s for Zero nice little (big) earner.
    Obviously now its going to apply to all Private LL’s, not stopping until nation wide. I always believed that ever since Deputy Premier labour John Prescott 2004 Act, introducing Licensing in 2006 followed by Deposit Schemes in 2007 the rest is History no stopping them ever since.
    The sad part is thousands are still rushing to buy Property without any knowledge of this whatsoever, why not ask them I do and they don’t know, even many existing LL’s either don’t know or choose not to comply, big problems ahead. Councils have their gold mine for ever, LL’s can have their heart attack.

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    The cost is passed straight on to the tenant in most if not all cases and then they wonder why rents keep going up!

     
    Theodor Cable

    Well said Tricia - And not one idiot in Parliament or any idiot/moron in a Council sees the problem.

    They think that LLs have to pay more when in effect they are hurting the people they maintain they are helping.

    And I love adding the extra 15% for administration and my time - Just as any business does.

    So please all polititions and council chairmen and women, keep it all coming.

    You make me richer for each of your stupid ideas trying to break LLs.....

    And now....I am off to the the BMW showroom.

    THANKS :-)

     
  • girish mehta

    Race to bottom, it’s going to bite in their backsides. There will come a point when it won’t be worthwhile investment. With money grabbing short term policies.The politicians have only seek to line their pockets over few decades. Eventually the investment will dry up as landlords will not invest. Leaving councils and politicians to address and pick up the tab .

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    If they were genuinely concerned and wanted to raise standards there would be no charge!

  • Just Mogler

    Best form of defense..ATTACK. So ask Enfield Council for their record of gas safety and electric survey certification on either their Council or Housing Associations in their jurisdiction. They go for the easy target and get cash to replenish their empty coffers under the pretense of protecting an unidentified number of bad landlords. If they are identified prosecute with the powers they already have.

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    So the next plan of attack on law abiding, respectable Private Landlords is revealed!! Beyond disgust.

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    The Council have ample existing powers to enforce standards. Like most selective licensing schemes to-date, this is a blatant scam to prop up their bloated bureaucracy. Hopefully it'll blow up in their faces in 5 years time when their renewal is refused, like Croyden. In the meantime, the tenants will suffer from ever increasing rents. And no, they're landlord hating lefties, they'll never learn!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Councils are NOT supposed to be making a profit out of Licensing, The fee is only supposed to cover the cost of running a scheme. If Wales can run a Licensing scheme for Less than hundred quid, - why the excessive and varied difference amongst other Councils.
    Councils should be Audited more thoroughly, - they're more 'bent' than any Landlord. !

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    Which scheme are you referring to in Wales?

     
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    Licensing (legalised theft) that does nothing for standards. Because of rumor of this waste of time coming to one area I have been operating for over 20 years I have put a unit on the market. Keep up the good work in reducing stock and putting up rent. bad landlords will hide in the shadows, good will leave the market. Council fools and there great ideas to help that always make the problems far worse. These fools know nothing and are simply not fit for purpose.

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    I actually have mixed feelings over this. A well run licensing scheme helping to eliminate poor landlords is where we should have started in my opinion together with some kind of measuring process on standards and excellence to recognise good landlords as well. The bad landlords are the fuel for political parties and the press to keep blaming us for the housing crisis. Anyone who thinks there aren’t a good level of unprofessional con artists in our community is delusional. We should do everything we can to chase these people out of the sector. What I object to is the continual layering up of initiatives. £120 a year is nothing compared to the extra stamp duty we pay and the affect of the removal of interest relief. I’d support a proper national program and pay more if I was respected as a proper business that’s regulated professionally and taxed appropriately like any other business not singled out for punishment as a diversionary tactic away from chronic housing policy failures over decades.

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    Branding landlords as criminals tells you a lot about the mindset of these jumped up politicians in local authorities.

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    Domenic, a number of points there, you are right about SDLT & Section 24. However don’t be taken in with the £120 pa which I believe you are referring to £600. for Selective Licensing.
    That’s the tip of the iceberg the Compliance is going to cost you thousands of £’s, on top and put you at risk, in line for a Breach to fine you anytime they like. Having said that we had it all already and I can enlighten you, it to rope you in. Then after a while they transport it to Additional License which is more or less same as Mandatory. When you renew it will be £1200. to £1400. application fee rising. So in some cases we had to pay in 2006 / 2011 / 2016 and now due this year 2021. It looks like you never had one my friend or would have a different view. Extra Certificates galore alone are going to continuously cost you more than £120. pa. I could go on but by things to do..

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    Dominic, Michael is correct I have spent a lot of time examining housing standards and licensing as I am probably one of the largest users and cannot find any justification for any of it if you analyse it rationally . It sounds good to talk about quality and standards but when you boil it down only one thing that is required by housing standards on a cost risk basis has any benefit. What you end up with is a set of rules which cannot be justified: for example Coventry are demanding as a license condition that the windowsills are kept clean. This would be a joke but for the fact you could be fined for having dirty windowsills and then classified as a rogue landlord. A friend of mine was fined for having ankle length grass and a hole in the garden fence. Luckily he followed my advice got a good lawyer and had the case thrown out. However, it cost him more in legal costs than the fine would have cost. Dominic is this what do you want for all landlords?

    Licenceing does little to improve standards the opposite happens licensing is so labour-intensive most councils spend most of the time administrating their licensing system instead of dealing with bad properties. If you talk to the council they say it takes five days to issue a license so the £600 fee does not even cover the administrative cost of issuing a license. Birmingham City council lost millions trying to administer their licensing scheme. I take great pleasure in the thought that licensing is a beast that devours its creator. Unfortunately it is at my cost.

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

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    Jim / Michael I understand where you are coming from. My opening statement was that a “well run” scheme is where we should start. I do have a couple of properties that qualify and sadly of course I might as well give my money to Shelter for all the good it will do us. But I stand by my points. We need to find a way of getting rid of those landlords giving us all such a bad name. And last year removal of tax relief cost me circa 1.5 to 2k net in my pocket per property so I would gladly pay a lot more than £120 a year on a licensing scheme instead particularly if it actually worked and I stopped worrying I might get stoned walking down the street if it got out I was a landlord.

     
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    In the South East its £600. For Selective. Mandatory and Additional are £1200. / £1400, + it does cover the schemes and loads to waste as well, they send letters to everyone for fun or a joke even to people it’s nothing to do with incl’ my former Solicitor, lender, Freeholder 990 year & my wife at our same address. How long does it take forget about 5 days it takes months even on renewal. I had one waiting seven months and guess what they had reduced my license period by the same amount. Do they make profit of Course they do even though its only supposed to cover the Scheme. Croydon Council complain about their Licensing being Knocked back by Robert Jenrick (now sacked). Its caused them a £22m black hole they said which is laughable, the Scheme didn’t go ahead so it cost them nothing, so how could it cause them a £22m shortfall or blackhole if they weren’t taking a profit from the Scheme.

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