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Landslide Labour Council set to force landlords to buy £1,000 licence

Local media in the Midlands say another Labour council is set to charge private landlords £1,000 for a licence allowing them to continue housing people in small HMOs.

Sandwell council - where 64 of the 72 councillors are Labour - is planning to force landlords with smaller HMOs with three or more people to hand over £1,000 for a licence. HMOs with five or more people already require a licence from the council. 

An estimated 3,000 properties would require a licence under the new rules, according to a council report to be discussed tomorrow.

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The report claims: “Our aim is that over the five year period, the licensing scheme will improve housing conditions, reduce significant persistent problems caused by anti-social behaviour, including modern-day slavery and human trafficking, and [lead to] an increase in good landlords and an elimination of rogue landlords.

“The borough has faced a major increase in private rented accommodation in some areas and it is recognised that there are landlords and agents who do not provide adequate accommodation or management of their properties.

“This poor management of properties has a significant impact on people’s lives and on council and partner resources in tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour, fly tipping of domestic waste, concerns about property condition and harassment and illegal eviction. 

“The council has implemented a range of powers and approaches to seek to address many of these issues including additional licensing within parts of West Bromwich, but the ongoing pressures are such that an expansion of this approach is considered necessary.”

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  • icon

    Let's see how many landlords remain if Labour introduces a draconian Renters Reform Act. How compatible is licensing with a huge reduction in the supply of privately rented accommodation?

  • John  Adams

    Dear Tenants,
    Unfortunately Cllrs x,y,z (contact details below) have decided to increase your Rent.

    Please feel free to ring them and ask why they have chosen to force this increase on your rent.

    Yours sincerely
    Landlord

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    Absolutely the way to go, given tenants the reasons👍

     
  • John  Adams

    Dear Tenants,

    Due to Government changes, you are now going to lose your home. Please contact MP x / Keir Starmer to ask him to provide you with new accomodation.

    It is deeply regrettable, but I am forced into selling your home. If you would like to contact Shelter and Generation Rent to thank their CEOs please do so their details are at the end of this letter.

    Yours
    X

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    I wonder if we landlords should be writing to our Tenants before the Election warning them if Labour get in a) their rent will have to sky rocket and/or b) their home will be sold and theyll be evicted. ??

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    Sadly that could be illegal.

     
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    I don't think its illegal to be honest and advise tenants, when they ask, that you will keep their home for as long as is viable (financially and for your own sanity). I have informed them about section 24 taxation and increased mortgage interest, as reasons their rent had to be increased by approx 10%. I have also mentioned that the RRB and now a new Govt might make things untenable for landlords. This is just factual information they could find out for themselves, in order to be aware of the pressures on landlords, and how this might affect them. As long as it's not done in a threatening way I can't see the problem?

     
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    • A S
    • 18 June 2024 10:07 AM

    I agree, I don't think it would be illegal if you just state facts and what your likely course of action will be as a Landlord. What the tenant chooses to do with that information is up to them.

    If only there was a group for landlords that could provide template letters such as this, that help to protect the industry that they represent!

     
  • Rob NorthWest-Landlord

    Is the charge per property or per landlord?

    Either way any licensing charge is going on the rent plus an admin fee.

    No benefit to the landlord, I don't see why the scheme can't fund something for those who are going to pay for it, otherwise every landlord will do what I suggested, rent rise.

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    "Happy " to confirm that it's per property, being the lucky contributor of 4 licences to the same council..

     
  • icon

    I already wrote to one tenant and put his tent up just in case Labour decide to slap on a rent freeze. I was honest and told him I would not have raised rent for a further year but I was forced to increase rent now whilst I still could. He wrote back he understands.

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    • A S
    • 18 June 2024 10:46 AM

    That is the most glorious Freudian slip Wendy. It will become very true in years to come.

     
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    These Councils will never learn. The less landlords remaining the more temporary accommodation they have to find!

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    • A S
    • 18 June 2024 10:45 AM

    Margaret - the more temporary accommodation they have to find = the busier they will have to be = the more important their jobs will become = the larger pay rises they will have to award themselves.

    I think they learn very well! The great British public are the ones who don't learn

     
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    A S - Yes I agree you are absolutely right. Sadly the British public will never learn.

     
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    They are not capable of thinking ahead. They have been asked to fill the holes in their budgets. Oh, I know, let's tax landlords, HMRC already does it, they won't mind paying more!

     
  • David Hollands

    This will be passed on to the tenants in extra rent.

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    Tenants won't like that, but more the fool them for voting Labour or Green

     
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    These fees have NOTHING to do with badly managed properties and even less with tackling antisocial behaviour..
    1. In my experience paying these fees, tje Council is interested in one thing only : TO POCKET THE MONEY.
    2. How is charging the landlord £1k going to help tackling antisocial behaviour when the police is not interested and the Council doesn't want to know either (trust me, i tried!).
    Why don't they honestly say:

    "We are only good at squandering taxpayers money. As we are short of money, we are now going to fleece landlords as no-one likes landlords "

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    But fleecing landlords = fleecing tenants

     
  • icon

    Well! It is up to the landlords to retort if their residential let is in labour run council and have licensing. They can stop renting altogether and keep the property empty. If a landlord has 3 or properties in such a council. Just pay license for one or two and keep others empty. This is exactly what is happening and will occur. The consequences are very serious for the government and also for such landlords (for reduction in income and increased costs). A larger loss for the council, government and the tenants. Less properties available for tenants, higher rent, only the best tenants will be housed, more responsibilities for the councils. The councils could not control misbehavior by social tenants but wish to pass the blame and responsibilities to private landlords without ever financing, but pocketing the hard earned landlords/tenants money. The HMRC will have less income. Landlords can start selling their properties to owner occupiers, if possible. In a very short time, there will be acute shortage of further housing and less revenues for the government. Further chaos, as tenants will notice further rent rises and shortages. The tenants need Stat at home with their parents or buy their own. Doom and gloom coming for landlords, them the same outcome for tenants and the council and the government. Close down Shelter and Gen Rant, their services are useless.

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    A £1000 licence would increase the rent by £100 pcm.

     
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    Annoyed Landlord: the £1000 is for five years, so surely £200 p.a. divided by the number of tenants.

     
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    Tony A
    As I read it the scheme lasts for five years, with no mention of how long a licence lasts.

    All my tenancies are joint and several so no need to divide by the number of tenants.

     
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    An empty property means the LL still has to cover mortgage payments and has to pay council tax, standing charges for gas and electric and water too. If empty over 12 months double council tax.

     
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    I canna see owt wrong with writing to tenants telling em. A vote for Lab will increase ur rent. It’s true and giving them a heads up!! 😁

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    Andrew not really if you are lucky enough to get it for £1000.00 that will add £16.66 pm as usually it’s for 5 years but the Remedial Compliance work may well cost you £100. pm on top + all the Certificates many annual repeating and other requirements and a mountain of administrative extra work to waste your time because they consider your work is free .

  • icon

    They are out to crucify us every way they can, if you buy it’s double SDLT, if you sell no taper relief, if you let tax the turnover not on the profits, if it’s Students no C/council tax, if it’s one person 25% C/tax discount. If it’s vacant they landlords pay double C/tax for a non Service, if it’s not licensed give them back 12 months rent .

  • icon

    Again, whst is the point of the NRLA? Nobody stands up or represents professional landlords. Complete waste of space. Get rid of Beadle and the Board, replace with strident firm people with energy.

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    Why is it fair to tax good landlords £1000 to pay for enforcement against the bad landlords? Surely, since the tenants will be the beneficiaries, the tenants should pay? A "tenant tax" like a tourist tax.

    Or since the whole community wants to see a reduction in antisocial behaviour, why not pay for the enforcement service out of general council tax and business rates receipts? Do good restaurants have to pay a special tax for EHOs and Trading Standards to inspect and close down bad restaurants? Are "bad" householders or businesses that burn down because of poor maintenance forced to pay a fine, to compensate the call-out costs of the Fire Service? No? So why do only landlords have to pay these invented "licensing fees", for which no cost justification has to be provided, no reporting on effectiveness, no review process to remove or reduce the fees if they're shown to be ineffective or overly high?

    These fees are little short of theft, by out-of-control councils subject to no-one except the vaguest notions of "democratic accountability".

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    If my council brings in licensing I will simply sell up. That means in my area 5 families with children will be homeless and have to move to temporary accommodation. Good luck to the council in explaining to these families why they have to license when they are perfectly happy in their homes.

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