Agents and landlords campaigning against measure in Waltham Forest

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Landlord licensing scheme delayed Landlord licensing scheme delayed

A controversial move to make it compulsory for landlords to have a license in Waltham Forest has been delayed following pressure from the industry.

The cabinet yesterday voted to further assess the scheme and bring proposals back to the table after council elections in May.

Waltham Forest Landlords (WFL), a campaign group working with Victor Michael letting agents, which is said to collectively own or manage more than 4,000 properties in the borough, say a plan to charge landlords £500 per property for a license is unfair.

But leading councillors claim the licence is necessary to address anti-social behaviour (ASB) caused by poorly managed privately rented properties.

However, a WFL spokesman said good landlords and their tenants would be unfairly penalised.

He said: “The Labour council is trying to license good landlords under the guise of targeting rogue landlords.

“However the reality is that only law-abiding landlords, estimated to be around 31,000, will come forward whilst the rogue ones, estimated to be around 3,000, remain underground.

“In these difficult financial times the landlords will be forced to pass on the cost of a license, £500 per property, to their tenants, so the scheme ends up being a tenants’ tax.”

The private rented sector makes up one third of homes in the borough, a figure that has nearly doubled in a decade.

At the cabinet meeting last night Councillor Marie Pye, cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s an important process, we’re looking at the detailed responses and after the election, all being well, bring recommendations.”

Cllr Pye said the scheme’s consultation was “one of the most extensive the council had ever seen” with more than 1,600 detailed responses.

To apply for a license, landlords would need to acquire references from potential tenants and directly deal with anti-social behaviour or crime in a property.

Failure to acquire a license, or to achieve acceptable management standards, could lead to a fine of up to £20,000, or loss of control of a property.

The WFL believes the measure had been delayed over fears for votes in the up and coming election.

The spokesman added: “The Labour-led council are now so concerned about the backlash from landlords and tenants all across the borough in the May local elections that they have been forced to defer any decision about implementing the scheme until after the votes have been counted.”

Comments (36)

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1:52pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -9

4:14pm Wed 19 Mar 14

mdj says...

If all the councillors with rental property interests vacate the room as they should when the vote is taken on such matters, how do they ever get a quorum?
If all the councillors with rental property interests vacate the room as they should when the vote is taken on such matters, how do they ever get a quorum? mdj
  • Score: 16

5:43pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Techno3 says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for. Techno3
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Wed 19 Mar 14

MICHAEL MCGOUGH says...

Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job. MICHAEL MCGOUGH
  • Score: -8

7:00pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

MICHAEL MCGOUGH wrote:
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500?

That seems fair and not at all parasitical.
[quote][p][bold]MICHAEL MCGOUGH[/bold] wrote: Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.[/p][/quote]So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500? That seems fair and not at all parasitical. Alan_1976
  • Score: 5

11:57pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Techno3 says...

Alan_1976 wrote:
MICHAEL MCGOUGH wrote:
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500?

That seems fair and not at all parasitical.
If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works.

Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti
ve and cause them to cease operations.
[quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MICHAEL MCGOUGH[/bold] wrote: Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.[/p][/quote]So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500? That seems fair and not at all parasitical.[/p][/quote]If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works. Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti ve and cause them to cease operations. Techno3
  • Score: 2

1:19am Thu 20 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
It is what will happen Techno 3, private sector landlords are filling a massive gap left in the rental sector because of the lack of social housing. The councils have an advertisement every week in this actual paper pleading for properties, some of the adverts are from Westminister, Harringay, Islington and so on. Now they are proposing to penalise the very Landlords helping them out!

Not all Landlords are bad, a blanket Licence for 'anti social behaviour reasons' is a wrong move, professional tenants will pay ultimately and those who rely on social benefits will suffer as they will be excluded from qualifying for a private sector property through lack of funds.
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]It is what will happen Techno 3, private sector landlords are filling a massive gap left in the rental sector because of the lack of social housing. The councils have an advertisement every week in this actual paper pleading for properties, some of the adverts are from Westminister, Harringay, Islington and so on. Now they are proposing to penalise the very Landlords helping them out! Not all Landlords are bad, a blanket Licence for 'anti social behaviour reasons' is a wrong move, professional tenants will pay ultimately and those who rely on social benefits will suffer as they will be excluded from qualifying for a private sector property through lack of funds. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

6:28am Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

Techno3 wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
MICHAEL MCGOUGH wrote:
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500?

That seems fair and not at all parasitical.
If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works.

Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti

ve and cause them to cease operations.
If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics.
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MICHAEL MCGOUGH[/bold] wrote: Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.[/p][/quote]So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500? That seems fair and not at all parasitical.[/p][/quote]If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works. Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti ve and cause them to cease operations.[/p][/quote]If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics. Alan_1976
  • Score: 4

9:21am Thu 20 Mar 14

Techno3 says...

Alan_1976 wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
MICHAEL MCGOUGH wrote:
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500?

That seems fair and not at all parasitical.
If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works.

Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti


ve and cause them to cease operations.
If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics.
True. However when you have the excuse that a third party like the council has made you do it, it is a lot easier. Also, when a business knows all their competitors are going to hike prices at the same time, the fear of being undercut is reduced.
[quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MICHAEL MCGOUGH[/bold] wrote: Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.[/p][/quote]So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500? That seems fair and not at all parasitical.[/p][/quote]If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works. Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti ve and cause them to cease operations.[/p][/quote]If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics.[/p][/quote]True. However when you have the excuse that a third party like the council has made you do it, it is a lot easier. Also, when a business knows all their competitors are going to hike prices at the same time, the fear of being undercut is reduced. Techno3
  • Score: 3

10:55am Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

Techno3 wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
MICHAEL MCGOUGH wrote:
Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration.
Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation.
If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.
So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500?

That seems fair and not at all parasitical.
If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works.

Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti



ve and cause them to cease operations.
If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics.
True. However when you have the excuse that a third party like the council has made you do it, it is a lot easier. Also, when a business knows all their competitors are going to hike prices at the same time, the fear of being undercut is reduced.
Agree with you on that point. As the original comment shows the landlords see no issue with charging an extra £1000 rent a year as they know there is demand. (This is of course despite the fact that the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one so quite what the £1000 gets the tenant in year 2 is a mystery)

So the cries of "difficult financial times" ring more than a little hollow when uttered by the landlords who are in times of low interest rates owning properties which they can command higher rents for with no work on their part than a couple of years ago and I say that as someone who does not rent.
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MICHAEL MCGOUGH[/bold] wrote: Another rip-off initiative by a failing Labour administration. Walthamstow is now a desirable place to live so if the parasites in the Town Hall charge £500 I'll add £1000 to the rent to recover it and for aggravation. If anything councillors should be licensed to stop idiots doing the job.[/p][/quote]So because someone is charging you £500 you see that as an excuse to charge someone else another £500? That seems fair and not at all parasitical.[/p][/quote]If the council decides to use and require a private business to charge their customers money, they usually do so by requiring all sorts of administrative hoops to be jumped through. This will involve information gathering, anaysis and preentation and record storgae. These things all cost time and money. The business will seek to recover those costs. That is the way business works. Businesses which can not see how they can manage to successfully pass on the costs bureaucrats impose on them eventually either decide not to comply with the regulations at all, or they carry additional overheads which can make them less profitable/competiti ve and cause them to cease operations.[/p][/quote]If they can charge £1000 extra they do not need the excuse of this to do so. THAT is how business works. Basic supply and demand economics.[/p][/quote]True. However when you have the excuse that a third party like the council has made you do it, it is a lot easier. Also, when a business knows all their competitors are going to hike prices at the same time, the fear of being undercut is reduced.[/p][/quote]Agree with you on that point. As the original comment shows the landlords see no issue with charging an extra £1000 rent a year as they know there is demand. (This is of course despite the fact that the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one so quite what the £1000 gets the tenant in year 2 is a mystery) So the cries of "difficult financial times" ring more than a little hollow when uttered by the landlords who are in times of low interest rates owning properties which they can command higher rents for with no work on their part than a couple of years ago and I say that as someone who does not rent. Alan_1976
  • Score: 5

11:06am Thu 20 Mar 14

mdj says...

' the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one...'

How does this make sense? The condition of a property is not a fixed quality; it needs regular assessment, just like an MOT.
Or is a new licence issued with every tenancy? That should create a few public sector jobs!
'To apply for a license, landlords would need to acquire references from potential tenants..'
And do landlords have to PROVIDE references to potential tenants as well? Surely that's the quickest route to ensure that properties are kept in order.

Are there any councillors with experience of letting property who could possibly inform us about how these matters work?

Is it an unworthy thought that possibly these councillors have kicked this issue down the road for their own interests, rather than electoral considerations?
' the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one...' How does this make sense? The condition of a property is not a fixed quality; it needs regular assessment, just like an MOT. Or is a new licence issued with every tenancy? That should create a few public sector jobs! 'To apply for a license, landlords would need to acquire references from potential tenants..' And do landlords have to PROVIDE references to potential tenants as well? Surely that's the quickest route to ensure that properties are kept in order. Are there any councillors with experience of letting property who could possibly inform us about how these matters work? Is it an unworthy thought that possibly these councillors have kicked this issue down the road for their own interests, rather than electoral considerations? mdj
  • Score: 4

11:53am Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
' the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one...' How does this make sense? The condition of a property is not a fixed quality; it needs regular assessment, just like an MOT. Or is a new licence issued with every tenancy? That should create a few public sector jobs! 'To apply for a license, landlords would need to acquire references from potential tenants..' And do landlords have to PROVIDE references to potential tenants as well? Surely that's the quickest route to ensure that properties are kept in order. Are there any councillors with experience of letting property who could possibly inform us about how these matters work? Is it an unworthy thought that possibly these councillors have kicked this issue down the road for their own interests, rather than electoral considerations?
All the info is here http://www.walthamfo
rest.gov.uk/selectiv
elicensing

"Before a licence is granted, we would have to consider if the landlord or managing agent is ‘fit and proper.’ This means that we would check whether they have any criminal prosecutions and whether we have already had dealings with them for various reasons.

The licence would have conditions attached to it such as making sure that the home is kept safe, that the landlord must get references for new tenants before allowing them to rent that home or that the landlord must deal with any complaints of antisocial behaviour such as playing loud music or engaging in criminal activity in the property."

And cost wise it's a 5 year license...

"Councils are allowed to recover the cost of running the scheme through setting a licence fee for private landlords but we are not allowed to make a profit on this.

At this stage, we are considering a fee of £500 for a 5 year licence with 50% early bird discounts for those landlords who apply between July and September 2014 if the proposals proceed.
"

So that means £50 a year. Or in the terms of our friend above a £950 profit.

The protestations seem even more ludicrous when you see the proposals.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: ' the license proposed is a one-off cost not an annual one...' How does this make sense? The condition of a property is not a fixed quality; it needs regular assessment, just like an MOT. Or is a new licence issued with every tenancy? That should create a few public sector jobs! 'To apply for a license, landlords would need to acquire references from potential tenants..' And do landlords have to PROVIDE references to potential tenants as well? Surely that's the quickest route to ensure that properties are kept in order. Are there any councillors with experience of letting property who could possibly inform us about how these matters work? Is it an unworthy thought that possibly these councillors have kicked this issue down the road for their own interests, rather than electoral considerations?[/p][/quote]All the info is here http://www.walthamfo rest.gov.uk/selectiv elicensing "Before a licence is granted, we would have to consider if the landlord or managing agent is ‘fit and proper.’ This means that we would check whether they have any criminal prosecutions and whether we have already had dealings with them for various reasons. The licence would have conditions attached to it such as making sure that the home is kept safe, that the landlord must get references for new tenants before allowing them to rent that home or that the landlord must deal with any complaints of antisocial behaviour such as playing loud music or engaging in criminal activity in the property." And cost wise it's a 5 year license... "Councils are allowed to recover the cost of running the scheme through setting a licence fee for private landlords but we are not allowed to make a profit on this. At this stage, we are considering a fee of £500 for a 5 year licence with 50% early bird discounts for those landlords who apply between July and September 2014 if the proposals proceed. " So that means £50 a year. Or in the terms of our friend above a £950 profit. The protestations seem even more ludicrous when you see the proposals. Alan_1976
  • Score: 9

1:37pm Thu 20 Mar 14

mdj says...

Not ludicrous, I'd say, after a quick scan.

'The main areas we want to focus on are antisocial behaviour such as playing loud music and using homes for illegal activities, and contraventions such as sub-standard conversions of homes.
'
Inverted priorities, surely?

This seems more like a way of privatising police, noise control and planning enforcement and building control costs, and a small covert rise in Council tax.

Surely a well-promoted website that posts reference for landlords from previous tenants would be a much cheaper way of enforcing property standards, with no need for an inspection bureaucracy?

It's the landlord who gets the licence, not the property, so we know nothing about the condition of many dwellings at a given time. (But there are all sorts of lovely admin charges for changing details).

So if one of us moves into a retirement home and lets our children occupy our home informally because there's no way they can afford to buy, would that cost the same as a hypothetical councillor who rents out 150 houses? It's not clear, but it doesn't look good.

What would make sense would be a simple public register of all houses that are rented out for profit, and the name of their effective controller.

What would be the licence status of another hypothetical councillor from whose home illegal immigrants had been seized by the Borders Agency, and who had been in court for taking a child out of school, and then back again for apparently not paying the fine?
Would such a councillor be likely to vote for licensing?
Not ludicrous, I'd say, after a quick scan. 'The main areas we want to focus on are antisocial behaviour such as playing loud music and using homes for illegal activities, and contraventions such as sub-standard conversions of homes. ' Inverted priorities, surely? This seems more like a way of privatising police, noise control and planning enforcement and building control costs, and a small covert rise in Council tax. Surely a well-promoted website that posts reference for landlords from previous tenants would be a much cheaper way of enforcing property standards, with no need for an inspection bureaucracy? It's the landlord who gets the licence, not the property, so we know nothing about the condition of many dwellings at a given time. (But there are all sorts of lovely admin charges for changing details). So if one of us moves into a retirement home and lets our children occupy our home informally because there's no way they can afford to buy, would that cost the same as a hypothetical councillor who rents out 150 houses? It's not clear, but it doesn't look good. What would make sense would be a simple public register of all houses that are rented out for profit, and the name of their effective controller. What would be the licence status of another hypothetical councillor from whose home illegal immigrants had been seized by the Borders Agency, and who had been in court for taking a child out of school, and then back again for apparently not paying the fine? Would such a councillor be likely to vote for licensing? mdj
  • Score: 1

3:50pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

"It's the landlord that gets the license not the property"

Must have been a very quick scan mdj.

"Requiring every landlord or managing agent to apply for a licence will help us to identify all of the properties that are rented out privately. This will give us the opportunity to inspect the properties to assess fitness and speak to landlords and tenants about their obligations."

Not to mention the fact that it is indeed per property.
"It's the landlord that gets the license not the property" Must have been a very quick scan mdj. "Requiring every landlord or managing agent to apply for a licence will help us to identify all of the properties that are rented out privately. This will give us the opportunity to inspect the properties to assess fitness and speak to landlords and tenants about their obligations." Not to mention the fact that it is indeed per property. Alan_1976
  • Score: 4

4:14pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Concerned_Citizen says...

This is a great idea.
All proceeds should be directed at building Social Housing.
This is a great idea. All proceeds should be directed at building Social Housing. Concerned_Citizen
  • Score: -2

4:52pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Love your high street says...

I'm sure there are Laws and By - Laws to deal with dilapidated properties and anti-social behaviour problems such Health and Safety, etc. The issue isn't rogue landlords, it's the Council who do not take these issues seriously enough so a tiny problem grows to a huge one. This is a scheme to make more money for the Council to waste just like North London Waste Authority (NLWA), street party funds and the Ward funds.
If there wasn't an election so soon then Pye would have rushed it through. Good on you Pye! I hope you lose the election in May!
I'm sure there are Laws and By - Laws to deal with dilapidated properties and anti-social behaviour problems such Health and Safety, etc. The issue isn't rogue landlords, it's the Council who do not take these issues seriously enough so a tiny problem grows to a huge one. This is a scheme to make more money for the Council to waste just like North London Waste Authority (NLWA), street party funds and the Ward funds. If there wasn't an election so soon then Pye would have rushed it through. Good on you Pye! I hope you lose the election in May! Love your high street
  • Score: 7

6:17pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.
Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.[/p][/quote]Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe.... Alan_1976
  • Score: 2

6:49pm Thu 20 Mar 14

fabster says...

Sounds about right… Penalise those who have done no wrong, while failing to target the ones who are actually the problem. It's the Dog Control Orders all over again, isn't it?

Hopefully sense will prevail as the proposals are weak in detail. For example, there is no guarantee at all that the fee won't just be passed on to tenants, thereby the Council being party to increasing rent inadvertently. It would not be the first time that in trying to solve a problem, this Council actually ends up making things worse.

With all due respect to Cllr Pye, she and the Local Authority are out of their depth, failing to consider how implications are far reaching to residents who are not Buy To Let Landlords, but find themselves needing to rent their homes out. What provision will there be for residents who find themselves with personal circumstances changed and have no choice but to let out their home short term or to friends or family? My neighbour for example has just let her home out to friends of mine as she has taken on a 6 month contract in a different country to make ends meet since losing her job here in the UK. There is no logic that she should have to pay the local authority £500 per annum for a short term let to mutual friends who are, to all intents and purposes, house-sitting for the summer. Will the 5 year £500 fee be refundable if the owner occupier decides after a year of letting it out, he/she decides to move back in as personal circumstances have changed again?

Then there is the realistic scenario that when elderly residents transition into care and need to let out their homes to meet the cost of residential care, really, is it right that a Labour Council takes £500 from them when the reasons for renting are to make ends meet? Not all people who rent homes out own Bentleys and private-plated Range Rovers behind gated courtyards. The proposals fail to take into consideration a myriad of reasons why people rent homes out.

There is anecdotal evidence that anti-social behaviour is linked with some parts of the private rental sector anyway. This seems more likely driven by Loakes wanting to reclaim the costs of dumped mattresses when tenants move out.

Marie Pye's figures are literally 'pie in the sky': She says it is estimated that if you rent out a 2 bed flat in Walthamstow for 5 years you will get nearly £70k in rent. Yet fails to consider 20% tax, + 6% agent fee & freeholder fee if applicable amongst other charges including certification for gas & electrics plus maintenance. I have a friend who rents out 2 properties (one she owns, one her partner owns, both bought before they met each other), for sure they are not rolling in it. The only reason they've not sold is because they've just come out of negative equity as they both bought at the peak before the crash.

Can I politely suggest that if the council is serious about dealing with the problem of rogue landlords, why not start first with those within their ranks? Do this BEFORE the elections and you will win votes.
Sounds about right… Penalise those who have done no wrong, while failing to target the ones who are actually the problem. It's the Dog Control Orders all over again, isn't it? Hopefully sense will prevail as the proposals are weak in detail. For example, there is no guarantee at all that the fee won't just be passed on to tenants, thereby the Council being party to increasing rent inadvertently. It would not be the first time that in trying to solve a problem, this Council actually ends up making things worse. With all due respect to Cllr Pye, she and the Local Authority are out of their depth, failing to consider how implications are far reaching to residents who are not Buy To Let Landlords, but find themselves needing to rent their homes out. What provision will there be for residents who find themselves with personal circumstances changed and have no choice but to let out their home short term or to friends or family? My neighbour for example has just let her home out to friends of mine as she has taken on a 6 month contract in a different country to make ends meet since losing her job here in the UK. There is no logic that she should have to pay the local authority £500 per annum for a short term let to mutual friends who are, to all intents and purposes, house-sitting for the summer. Will the 5 year £500 fee be refundable if the owner occupier decides after a year of letting it out, he/she decides to move back in as personal circumstances have changed again? Then there is the realistic scenario that when elderly residents transition into care and need to let out their homes to meet the cost of residential care, really, is it right that a Labour Council takes £500 from them when the reasons for renting are to make ends meet? Not all people who rent homes out own Bentleys and private-plated Range Rovers behind gated courtyards. The proposals fail to take into consideration a myriad of reasons why people rent homes out. There is anecdotal evidence that anti-social behaviour is linked with some parts of the private rental sector anyway. This seems more likely driven by Loakes wanting to reclaim the costs of dumped mattresses when tenants move out. Marie Pye's figures are literally 'pie in the sky': She says it is estimated that if you rent out a 2 bed flat in Walthamstow for 5 years you will get nearly £70k in rent. Yet fails to consider 20% tax, + 6% agent fee & freeholder fee if applicable amongst other charges including certification for gas & electrics plus maintenance. I have a friend who rents out 2 properties (one she owns, one her partner owns, both bought before they met each other), for sure they are not rolling in it. The only reason they've not sold is because they've just come out of negative equity as they both bought at the peak before the crash. Can I politely suggest that if the council is serious about dealing with the problem of rogue landlords, why not start first with those within their ranks? Do this BEFORE the elections and you will win votes. fabster
  • Score: 5

7:23pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Alan_1976 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.
Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....
Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest.

However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow.
[quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.[/p][/quote]Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....[/p][/quote]Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest. However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.
Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....
Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest.

However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow.
"Diabolical scheme" "it's a good scheme"

As long as you're certain about it...
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.[/p][/quote]Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....[/p][/quote]Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest. However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow.[/p][/quote]"Diabolical scheme" "it's a good scheme" As long as you're certain about it... Alan_1976
  • Score: 1

9:33pm Thu 20 Mar 14

mdj says...

I can't see what I've misunderstood: the licence goes to the landlord, and the council has a right to inspect the properties, but the paper does not seem to state how often or indeed whether this automatically takes place.

There seems to be a mood of micro-management about the whole thing:
the property must be personally visited within a month of a late rental payment, even if this is with the knowledge and consent of the landlord, who may in any case be overseas - which could be why the house was rented out in the first place.
S23 even seems to stipulate that translations of rental documents into foreign languages may be required. The official language of this country is English, which should be sufficient.
Landlords seem to be facing conscription as the front line of law-enforcement in various unclear ways. The specimen map for ASB concludes that: '95.8% of ASB incidents fall within the vicinity of a PRS' - which is what it was designed to prove, if you look at the wording.

However, it equally shows that they fall within the same distance of an owner-occupied property too!
Can we therefore look forward to aspects of this power grab being extended to private property, so that the state can rule whether we are fit and proper people to occupy our own homes?

This scheme will need a lot of rendering down to rescue its good intentions from stifling by control-freakery.
I can't see what I've misunderstood: the licence goes to the landlord, and the council has a right to inspect the properties, but the paper does not seem to state how often or indeed whether this automatically takes place. There seems to be a mood of micro-management about the whole thing: the property must be personally visited within a month of a late rental payment, even if this is with the knowledge and consent of the landlord, who may in any case be overseas - which could be why the house was rented out in the first place. S23 even seems to stipulate that translations of rental documents into foreign languages may be required. The official language of this country is English, which should be sufficient. Landlords seem to be facing conscription as the front line of law-enforcement in various unclear ways. The specimen map for ASB concludes that: '95.8% of ASB incidents fall within the vicinity of a PRS' - which is what it was designed to prove, if you look at the wording. However, it equally shows that they fall within the same distance of an owner-occupied property too! Can we therefore look forward to aspects of this power grab being extended to private property, so that the state can rule whether we are fit and proper people to occupy our own homes? This scheme will need a lot of rendering down to rescue its good intentions from stifling by control-freakery. mdj
  • Score: 0

12:04am Fri 21 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Alan_1976 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Alan_1976 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Techno3 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.
Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.
Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.
Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....
Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest.

However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow.
"Diabolical scheme" "it's a good scheme"

As long as you're certain about it...
Diabolical to charge for the scheme yes because I think the tenants will ultimately pay but good if the primary objective is to monitor and register all properties that are 'investments' to focus on the larger picture of Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax.
[quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan_1976[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Diabolical scheme, tenants will end up paying.[/p][/quote]Lots of people have given this comment a thumbs down, but in most cases I do not see any other outcome: this is, in effect, a tax on private sector housing which the tenants will end up paying for.[/p][/quote]Of course this is more far reaching and has been reported since Newham first initiated it that the data will be collated and used as information for revenue purposes to monitor profits made on sales for capital gains tax and income tax on the rents received.[/p][/quote]Heaven forbid it is used to ensure people pay what they owe....[/p][/quote]Yes, it is a good scheme for this reason and it is right to register who owns what so that tax is collected. Most Landlords pay their tax and they can offset income and profit against any expenditure and loan interest. However, the licence fee is another matter, this can also be offset against income but in a buoyant market as it is now, the fee will easily be absorbed in an increased rental rate. Good flats attract better rents and quality tenants who do not paying especially if the Landlord is prompt in rectifying any problems that may arise. The bad Landlords will always try and cut corners, not pay their tax, collect rent in cash instead of a recorded bank transfer, fail to maintain their properties and so on, all a false economy as if they did so, the value of their property will increase and would achieve a better rent anyhow.[/p][/quote]"Diabolical scheme" "it's a good scheme" As long as you're certain about it...[/p][/quote]Diabolical to charge for the scheme yes because I think the tenants will ultimately pay but good if the primary objective is to monitor and register all properties that are 'investments' to focus on the larger picture of Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

7:39am Fri 21 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
I can't see what I've misunderstood: the licence goes to the landlord, and the council has a right to inspect the properties, but the paper does not seem to state how often or indeed whether this automatically takes place.

There seems to be a mood of micro-management about the whole thing:
the property must be personally visited within a month of a late rental payment, even if this is with the knowledge and consent of the landlord, who may in any case be overseas - which could be why the house was rented out in the first place.
S23 even seems to stipulate that translations of rental documents into foreign languages may be required. The official language of this country is English, which should be sufficient.
Landlords seem to be facing conscription as the front line of law-enforcement in various unclear ways. The specimen map for ASB concludes that: '95.8% of ASB incidents fall within the vicinity of a PRS' - which is what it was designed to prove, if you look at the wording.

However, it equally shows that they fall within the same distance of an owner-occupied property too!
Can we therefore look forward to aspects of this power grab being extended to private property, so that the state can rule whether we are fit and proper people to occupy our own homes?

This scheme will need a lot of rendering down to rescue its good intentions from stifling by control-freakery.
Mdj ,

The statement re "missed payments" statements says "In the event a payment of rent is missed, a visit must be made to the property no later than one month from the date the payment was due, to ensure that the property is secure and has not been abandoned."

So it is stating that where no payment has been made the duty is to ensure that the property is bit abandoned which is in keeping with the aim. Somehow you equate that as meaning that this excludes landlord consent. If a payment is not made with landlord consent then it hardly seems missed and the landlord already knows the property is not abandoned.

Section 23 states. "The Licence Holder must ensure that all information and documents that are provided by the landlord to their tenants are in a language/form that they can understand." . Not compulsory translation of documents for everyone but a duty that if you are renting a property to someone that both sides understand the rental agreement. Do you see this as an unreasonable request?

As to what you "misunderstood" you clearly stated the license was for the owner not the property. It is a per property license and as a cursory read of the document details the points are related to a property and providing access and a duty of care to that property.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: I can't see what I've misunderstood: the licence goes to the landlord, and the council has a right to inspect the properties, but the paper does not seem to state how often or indeed whether this automatically takes place. There seems to be a mood of micro-management about the whole thing: the property must be personally visited within a month of a late rental payment, even if this is with the knowledge and consent of the landlord, who may in any case be overseas - which could be why the house was rented out in the first place. S23 even seems to stipulate that translations of rental documents into foreign languages may be required. The official language of this country is English, which should be sufficient. Landlords seem to be facing conscription as the front line of law-enforcement in various unclear ways. The specimen map for ASB concludes that: '95.8% of ASB incidents fall within the vicinity of a PRS' - which is what it was designed to prove, if you look at the wording. However, it equally shows that they fall within the same distance of an owner-occupied property too! Can we therefore look forward to aspects of this power grab being extended to private property, so that the state can rule whether we are fit and proper people to occupy our own homes? This scheme will need a lot of rendering down to rescue its good intentions from stifling by control-freakery.[/p][/quote]Mdj , The statement re "missed payments" statements says "In the event a payment of rent is missed, a visit must be made to the property no later than one month from the date the payment was due, to ensure that the property is secure and has not been abandoned." So it is stating that where no payment has been made the duty is to ensure that the property is bit abandoned which is in keeping with the aim. Somehow you equate that as meaning that this excludes landlord consent. If a payment is not made with landlord consent then it hardly seems missed and the landlord already knows the property is not abandoned. Section 23 states. "The Licence Holder must ensure that all information and documents that are provided by the landlord to their tenants are in a language/form that they can understand." . Not compulsory translation of documents for everyone but a duty that if you are renting a property to someone that both sides understand the rental agreement. Do you see this as an unreasonable request? As to what you "misunderstood" you clearly stated the license was for the owner not the property. It is a per property license and as a cursory read of the document details the points are related to a property and providing access and a duty of care to that property. Alan_1976
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Fri 21 Mar 14

mdj says...

So I've misunderstood nothing: the property MUST be visited, regardless of necessity; documents MUST be provided in a language tenants can understand, when English is the language of legal contracts in this country.
It's definitely unreasonable to place requirements on one party above the norm for English contract law.

As I said, the good intentions behind this move have been swamped by amateurish control-freakery, and it is easy to see why they have been put on hold.
So I've misunderstood nothing: the property MUST be visited, regardless of necessity; documents MUST be provided in a language tenants can understand, when English is the language of legal contracts in this country. It's definitely unreasonable to place requirements on one party above the norm for English contract law. As I said, the good intentions behind this move have been swamped by amateurish control-freakery, and it is easy to see why they have been put on hold. mdj
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
So I've misunderstood nothing: the property MUST be visited, regardless of necessity; documents MUST be provided in a language tenants can understand, when English is the language of legal contracts in this country.
It's definitely unreasonable to place requirements on one party above the norm for English contract law.

As I said, the good intentions behind this move have been swamped by amateurish control-freakery, and it is easy to see why they have been put on hold.
No it says in a "form" they can understand. See how that is a different word? See how it is presented alongside the option of language as an alternative? By your logic we should exclude anyone from contracts who cannot read.

The property does not have to be visited in the circumstances you described. Not even if you write the word ALL in capitals. Where a payment is missed is not what you describe.



.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: So I've misunderstood nothing: the property MUST be visited, regardless of necessity; documents MUST be provided in a language tenants can understand, when English is the language of legal contracts in this country. It's definitely unreasonable to place requirements on one party above the norm for English contract law. As I said, the good intentions behind this move have been swamped by amateurish control-freakery, and it is easy to see why they have been put on hold.[/p][/quote]No it says in a "form" they can understand. See how that is a different word? See how it is presented alongside the option of language as an alternative? By your logic we should exclude anyone from contracts who cannot read. The property does not have to be visited in the circumstances you described. Not even if you write the word ALL in capitals. Where a payment is missed is not what you describe. . Alan_1976
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Sat 22 Mar 14

mdj says...

Did you help draft these terms, Alan? You seem rather defensive of them. We can all agree that there should be mechanisms to prevent sub-standard rental accommodation while finding these poorly thought-out, unclear and over -prescriptive.

The fact that two ( I hope ) reasonably bright people can read their meaning very differently cannot be a good sign if they are intended to stand up to legal scrutiny.

I would suggest that the numerous rules we already have should first be enforced sincerely and impartially.
We are all aware of cases where enforcement has been held back because a councillor's own interests were threatened.
Did you help draft these terms, Alan? You seem rather defensive of them. We can all agree that there should be mechanisms to prevent sub-standard rental accommodation while finding these poorly thought-out, unclear and over -prescriptive. The fact that two ( I hope ) reasonably bright people can read their meaning very differently cannot be a good sign if they are intended to stand up to legal scrutiny. I would suggest that the numerous rules we already have should first be enforced sincerely and impartially. We are all aware of cases where enforcement has been held back because a councillor's own interests were threatened. mdj
  • Score: 1

2:39pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
Did you help draft these terms, Alan? You seem rather defensive of them. We can all agree that there should be mechanisms to prevent sub-standard rental accommodation while finding these poorly thought-out, unclear and over -prescriptive.

The fact that two ( I hope ) reasonably bright people can read their meaning very differently cannot be a good sign if they are intended to stand up to legal scrutiny.

I would suggest that the numerous rules we already have should first be enforced sincerely and impartially.
We are all aware of cases where enforcement has been held back because a councillor's own interests were threatened.
Nothing to do with drafting them I'm afraid just someone who has read them and finds landlords declaring themselves as destitute odious. Especially given the behaviour of the landlords on the council.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: Did you help draft these terms, Alan? You seem rather defensive of them. We can all agree that there should be mechanisms to prevent sub-standard rental accommodation while finding these poorly thought-out, unclear and over -prescriptive. The fact that two ( I hope ) reasonably bright people can read their meaning very differently cannot be a good sign if they are intended to stand up to legal scrutiny. I would suggest that the numerous rules we already have should first be enforced sincerely and impartially. We are all aware of cases where enforcement has been held back because a councillor's own interests were threatened.[/p][/quote]Nothing to do with drafting them I'm afraid just someone who has read them and finds landlords declaring themselves as destitute odious. Especially given the behaviour of the landlords on the council. Alan_1976
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Sat 22 Mar 14

FULL TIME LANDLORD says...

If the scheme is to check on bad landlords why charge for each property and not a fee per landlord. This is extreme, but every landlord in Waltham Forest should give their tenants notice and let the council house them, Unfortunately that is the only bargaining power we have. I have tenants who have been with me for years, as I am sure many other landlords do. The reason why they stay is because we sort out any problems and the properties are much better than the rubbish the concil offers them. Remember nobody has to live in a property they are not happy with.
RTG
If the scheme is to check on bad landlords why charge for each property and not a fee per landlord. This is extreme, but every landlord in Waltham Forest should give their tenants notice and let the council house them, Unfortunately that is the only bargaining power we have. I have tenants who have been with me for years, as I am sure many other landlords do. The reason why they stay is because we sort out any problems and the properties are much better than the rubbish the concil offers them. Remember nobody has to live in a property they are not happy with. RTG FULL TIME LANDLORD
  • Score: 2

5:19pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Straight Up says...

This scheme is nonsense!

Labour are claiming they want to target rogue landlords. Yet the scheme they want to introduce, only the good landlords will come forward to be licensed - the rogue ones will remain underground, just as they already are to avoid tax, have overcrowded properties in poor condition, illegal immigrants and so on.

However, the council cannot use the money from the license fee for enforcement against unlicensed landlords, i,e. the rogue ones. So they have to raise money elsewhere to chase the bad landlords. So why not just do that??

This scheme does diddly squat in going after the rogue landlords and so the problem remains and Labour get their headlines out there and meanwhile the good landlords have to pay more, the cost of which, £500 per property, will then get passed on to the tenants i.e. a tenants tax!!

Disgraceful!!
This scheme is nonsense! Labour are claiming they want to target rogue landlords. Yet the scheme they want to introduce, only the good landlords will come forward to be licensed - the rogue ones will remain underground, just as they already are to avoid tax, have overcrowded properties in poor condition, illegal immigrants and so on. However, the council cannot use the money from the license fee for enforcement against unlicensed landlords, i,e. the rogue ones. So they have to raise money elsewhere to chase the bad landlords. So why not just do that?? This scheme does diddly squat in going after the rogue landlords and so the problem remains and Labour get their headlines out there and meanwhile the good landlords have to pay more, the cost of which, £500 per property, will then get passed on to the tenants i.e. a tenants tax!! Disgraceful!! Straight Up
  • Score: 4

8:59pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Arsenal red says...

The ridiculous thing about this mad plan is, most of the landlords tenants in ex local authority property are on housing benefit ( or what ever you want to call it) the council pay these tenants according to their requirements ie£750 1 bed flat £1000 2 bed flat & for 3 bed flat £1300 per calendar month ( these are approx but in reality it's probably more than this ) the landlords WILL then increase their rents to include the landlord TAX (or registration which ever you want to call it ) so the council will be paying their own charges or in reality you and I will be paying.
If this is really about Anti social behaviour, the majority of tenants housed by private landlords are already on the councils computers, as they will not be paying full council tax as they are on housing benefits. In other words the council will be paying their own mad scheme
The ridiculous thing about this mad plan is, most of the landlords tenants in ex local authority property are on housing benefit ( or what ever you want to call it) the council pay these tenants according to their requirements ie£750 1 bed flat £1000 2 bed flat & for 3 bed flat £1300 per calendar month ( these are approx but in reality it's probably more than this ) the landlords WILL then increase their rents to include the landlord TAX (or registration which ever you want to call it ) so the council will be paying their own charges or in reality you and I will be paying. If this is really about Anti social behaviour, the majority of tenants housed by private landlords are already on the councils computers, as they will not be paying full council tax as they are on housing benefits. In other words the council will be paying their own mad scheme Arsenal red
  • Score: 5

10:38am Sun 23 Mar 14

John J C Moss says...

This is a Tenant Tax, pure and simple. The cost will be passed on to tenants, together with a chunk of "administration" costs. At the margin, the smaller landlords will give up, leading to fewer homes being offered for rent. With demand rising, rents will go up even faster.

There is no credible evidence that anti-social behaviour is linked to private renting any more than it is linked to social renting or private ownership. This is simply the excuse WF Labour are using because they want to control this market. You can guess where that will lead...

If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it.
This is a Tenant Tax, pure and simple. The cost will be passed on to tenants, together with a chunk of "administration" costs. At the margin, the smaller landlords will give up, leading to fewer homes being offered for rent. With demand rising, rents will go up even faster. There is no credible evidence that anti-social behaviour is linked to private renting any more than it is linked to social renting or private ownership. This is simply the excuse WF Labour are using because they want to control this market. You can guess where that will lead... If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it. John J C Moss
  • Score: 2

8:30pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Cantrd says...

This is a tenant tax and a synical attempt by the Labour Councillors to wait until after local elections before bringing in this huge amount of red tape which will cost the Borough tens of thousands of pounds to administer - and for what ? The Council already have many powers and resources to tackle the existing problems of poor private rented housing in the Borough. The latest campaign leaflet from Waltham Forest Labour does not give the true picture. Registering private landlords would not be a problem at all, but charging them for it will be. Zachary Norman's piece in the Guardian gives a very fair and balanced view.
This is a tenant tax and a synical attempt by the Labour Councillors to wait until after local elections before bringing in this huge amount of red tape which will cost the Borough tens of thousands of pounds to administer - and for what ? The Council already have many powers and resources to tackle the existing problems of poor private rented housing in the Borough. The latest campaign leaflet from Waltham Forest Labour does not give the true picture. Registering private landlords would not be a problem at all, but charging them for it will be. Zachary Norman's piece in the Guardian gives a very fair and balanced view. Cantrd
  • Score: 2

8:53am Mon 24 Mar 14

exanimo says...

The London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) claim to be targeting “Rogue Landlords” by proposing to introduce “selective licensing” borough wide under the guise of anti social behaviour (ASB). However, this is a “headline banner” political posturing by the Labour Party and the introduction of selective licensing will have absolutely no impact on “rogue landlords” at all.

Instead it is rather cynical and deceitful, way of raising money (or so LBWF think) which will in fact have negative financial impact of LBWF, its residents in the form of increase council tax and as a tenant’s tax.

The selective licensing scheme was originally conceived and developed by government to augment existing local authority powers to tackle hosing standards and ASB on a “selective” basis. It was intended for Local Authorities to use as they saw fit providing that two criteria were met. One of these relates to low housing demand which does not apply in the LBWF and the second was where there was a "significant and persistent ASB linked to the Private Rented Sector (PRS)". Local authorities have to prove these linkages before they can implement this scheme.

LBWF state that they wish to target "rogue landlords" under the guise of ASB. They claim that there is a " significant and persistent" ASB issue across the borough and consequently want to introduce the scheme borough wide.

This is absolute codswallop, as is is the methodology LBWF have used to attempt to justify this claim. The government’s position on this is published in Feb 2014, is that "The Government does not support the use of licensing across an entire local authority area. Such an approach is disproportionate and unfairly penalises good landlords."

The point needs to be made, that there is no borough wide ASB problem in LBWF that can be directly linked to the PRS. The linkage of ASB to the Social Housing Sector is conveniently excluded from this proposal as is all suggestions of ASB from this sector.

The question, therefore , is why are LBWF proposing the scheme? The answer is as follows:

LBWF have seen a similar "borough wide" licensing scheme, "steam rollered" through by the Borough of Newham and have decide that this looks a good and easy way of making money.
The LBWF proposal is merely a "cut and paste" of the Newham Proposal altered here and there to suit Waltham Forest

This issue is not about rogue landlords whatever people may say or think. As mentioned earlier, Local Authorities has existing tools to address this problem. It is about the misguided belief that LBWF can raise easy revenues and political posturing by the Labour Party.

If this scheme is adopted, it will represent a "tenants tax" and the costs of running the scheme which have not been considered, will have to be borne by the council tax payers in Waltham Forest. The revenues raised by the license can not be used to enforce the terms of the license, (which incidentally is for 5 years only).

Other groups, such as local volunteer community groups have also strongly petitioned against the scheme as they can see they impact on the local community which include:-

- Tenants tax as license fees will be passed on by landlords
Landlords in the PRS withdrawing from the sector
Families displaced due to PRS landlords withdrawing from sector.
- Additional resource and financial burdens on LBWF to re house families displaced by private landlord withdrawal from PRS.
- Rogue landlords being unaffected as they will go underground
- Increased council costs and resources to police the scheme, passed on to council tax payer

The only people who will benefit from the adoption of a borough wide scheme will be the council employees who are employed to implement it and monitor it.

It is also worth mentioning the situation and conclusion from East Manchester who implemented a borough wide scheme 5 years ago and have decided to withdraw from further adoption of the scheme due to the huge resource costs in policing the scheme. They have decided instead to concentrate their finite resources to provide basic services.

Other local authorities such as Salford and Blackpool have taken the common sense approach and used the scheme as it was intended by the government, that is to identify and target specific areas where ASB can be clearly demonstrated.

Finally, what can be done?

1. Residents of LBWF should make their views known to their local councillors either at surgeries or via email. Details of councillor contact details are on the council's websites.

2. Residents can make their views felt at the forthcoming local elections in May. This scheme is being driven by the Labour controlled council and a vote for Labour may well be taken as an endorsement of this proposal despite the scheme’s obvious failings.

There are two main issues arising from this proposal for consideration at these elections which may or may not be highlighted by any political parties. These are that the adoption of a borough wide selective licensing scheme will ;-

- constitute a tenants tax
Increase council tax payable by residents of LBWF due to the costs (not foreseen or considered by LBWF)
The London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) claim to be targeting “Rogue Landlords” by proposing to introduce “selective licensing” borough wide under the guise of anti social behaviour (ASB). However, this is a “headline banner” political posturing by the Labour Party and the introduction of selective licensing will have absolutely no impact on “rogue landlords” at all. Instead it is rather cynical and deceitful, way of raising money (or so LBWF think) which will in fact have negative financial impact of LBWF, its residents in the form of increase council tax and as a tenant’s tax. The selective licensing scheme was originally conceived and developed by government to augment existing local authority powers to tackle hosing standards and ASB on a “selective” basis. It was intended for Local Authorities to use as they saw fit providing that two criteria were met. One of these relates to low housing demand which does not apply in the LBWF and the second was where there was a "significant and persistent ASB linked to the Private Rented Sector (PRS)". Local authorities have to prove these linkages before they can implement this scheme. LBWF state that they wish to target "rogue landlords" under the guise of ASB. They claim that there is a " significant and persistent" ASB issue across the borough and consequently want to introduce the scheme borough wide. This is absolute codswallop, as is is the methodology LBWF have used to attempt to justify this claim. The government’s position on this is published in Feb 2014, is that "The Government does not support the use of licensing across an entire local authority area. Such an approach is disproportionate and unfairly penalises good landlords." The point needs to be made, that there is no borough wide ASB problem in LBWF that can be directly linked to the PRS. The linkage of ASB to the Social Housing Sector is conveniently excluded from this proposal as is all suggestions of ASB from this sector. The question, therefore , is why are LBWF proposing the scheme? The answer is as follows: LBWF have seen a similar "borough wide" licensing scheme, "steam rollered" through by the Borough of Newham and have decide that this looks a good and easy way of making money. The LBWF proposal is merely a "cut and paste" of the Newham Proposal altered here and there to suit Waltham Forest This issue is not about rogue landlords whatever people may say or think. As mentioned earlier, Local Authorities has existing tools to address this problem. It is about the misguided belief that LBWF can raise easy revenues and political posturing by the Labour Party. If this scheme is adopted, it will represent a "tenants tax" and the costs of running the scheme which have not been considered, will have to be borne by the council tax payers in Waltham Forest. The revenues raised by the license can not be used to enforce the terms of the license, (which incidentally is for 5 years only). Other groups, such as local volunteer community groups have also strongly petitioned against the scheme as they can see they impact on the local community which include:- - Tenants tax as license fees will be passed on by landlords Landlords in the PRS withdrawing from the sector Families displaced due to PRS landlords withdrawing from sector. - Additional resource and financial burdens on LBWF to re house families displaced by private landlord withdrawal from PRS. - Rogue landlords being unaffected as they will go underground - Increased council costs and resources to police the scheme, passed on to council tax payer The only people who will benefit from the adoption of a borough wide scheme will be the council employees who are employed to implement it and monitor it. It is also worth mentioning the situation and conclusion from East Manchester who implemented a borough wide scheme 5 years ago and have decided to withdraw from further adoption of the scheme due to the huge resource costs in policing the scheme. They have decided instead to concentrate their finite resources to provide basic services. Other local authorities such as Salford and Blackpool have taken the common sense approach and used the scheme as it was intended by the government, that is to identify and target specific areas where ASB can be clearly demonstrated. Finally, what can be done? 1. Residents of LBWF should make their views known to their local councillors either at surgeries or via email. Details of councillor contact details are on the council's websites. 2. Residents can make their views felt at the forthcoming local elections in May. This scheme is being driven by the Labour controlled council and a vote for Labour may well be taken as an endorsement of this proposal despite the scheme’s obvious failings. There are two main issues arising from this proposal for consideration at these elections which may or may not be highlighted by any political parties. These are that the adoption of a borough wide selective licensing scheme will ;- - constitute a tenants tax Increase council tax payable by residents of LBWF due to the costs (not foreseen or considered by LBWF) exanimo
  • Score: 4

7:08pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Don't Give Up says...

If the main reason of the scheme is to cut out/reduce ASB, what I have difficulty in accepting is the fact that Ascham Homes are not being included.
Whilst I understand the emphasis is on the "private landlord", it should incorporate Ascham. From what I have been told, it is from the properties that fall under their control that there is the majority of this problem.
What are the thoughts of the rest of the readers concerning this point?
If the main reason of the scheme is to cut out/reduce ASB, what I have difficulty in accepting is the fact that Ascham Homes are not being included. Whilst I understand the emphasis is on the "private landlord", it should incorporate Ascham. From what I have been told, it is from the properties that fall under their control that there is the majority of this problem. What are the thoughts of the rest of the readers concerning this point? Don't Give Up
  • Score: 2

7:44pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Alan_1976 says...

Don't Give Up wrote:
If the main reason of the scheme is to cut out/reduce ASB, what I have difficulty in accepting is the fact that Ascham Homes are not being included.
Whilst I understand the emphasis is on the "private landlord", it should incorporate Ascham. From what I have been told, it is from the properties that fall under their control that there is the majority of this problem.
What are the thoughts of the rest of the readers concerning this point?
That would seem a reasonable thing to expect
[quote][p][bold]Don't Give Up[/bold] wrote: If the main reason of the scheme is to cut out/reduce ASB, what I have difficulty in accepting is the fact that Ascham Homes are not being included. Whilst I understand the emphasis is on the "private landlord", it should incorporate Ascham. From what I have been told, it is from the properties that fall under their control that there is the majority of this problem. What are the thoughts of the rest of the readers concerning this point?[/p][/quote]That would seem a reasonable thing to expect Alan_1976
  • Score: 2

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