Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
Labour gets in a muddle over landlord licensing in Southfields In a leaflet circulated in Southfields Ward, the Labour Party has claimed that in Nottingham the Labour-controlled council is “tackling irresponsible landlords through a private rented housing licensing scheme” but states that “in contrast, the Conservatives who control Charnwood Borough Council have done much less with the legal powers to tackle problems and help tenants”. The reality is that Nottingham introduced its selective licensing scheme only in July 2018 and this can only be done if sufficient evidence is available to justify its implementation under Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004. In other words, it has taken Nottingham 14 years to implement the scheme. When Southfields councillor Paul Mercer became the Lead member for Housing in 2016, one of the first things he did was to request a paper on introducing licensing. In the resulting report, officers argued that Charnwood would not meet the legal requirement to introduce such a scheme – either selective licensing or ‘additional’ licensing of HMOs under Section 56 of the act. Amongst the various criteria, it was necessary to have ‘robust’ evidence, evidence of low rising demand and significant amount of anti-social behaviour. Over the past two years there has been a noticeable shift in the rental market with the student population in Loughborough preferring purpose-built apartments. This has meant that the bottom end of the rental market is gradually being taken over by East European immigrant families and, surprisingly, agricultural workers living in the town. The Cabinet now intends to carry out a new assessment of the possibility of introducing selective licensing of landlords in Loughborough in the belief that this will enable a number of significant problems to be tackled. These include identifying properties that do not have: A satisfactory Gas Safety Certificate. Landlord insurance for the property which includes cover for tenants to put into temporary accommodation if the property is uninhabitable as well as public liability cover. An emergency escape lighting test certificate. A fire alarm test certificate. Relevant landlord training. A written fire safety risk assessment. No council can introduce selective licensing unless it has the evidence because without it the council would be open to a legal challenge by the landlords. “It is very easy for Labour to say that they want licensing but Loughborough does not have the same problems as Nottingham and proving that we have the evidence to justify such a change is more of a challenge”, commented Paul. “I have been a firm believer in landlord licensing for several years and whilst it is easy for armchair critics such as Labour’s Arthur Gould to demand change from the sidelines, it is a challenge to actually implement such a scheme when one is in office. But what is certain is that such a scheme is more likely to be introduced if Southfields has a councillor who is a member of the controlling group on the council rather than a representative of the ineffectual Labour opposition”.
Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB
This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
Labour gets in a muddle over landlord licensing in Southfields In a leaflet circulated in Southfields Ward, the Labour Party has claimed that in Nottingham the Labour- controlled council is “tackling irresponsible landlords through a private rented housing licensing scheme” but states that “in contrast, the Conservatives who control Charnwood Borough Council have done much less with the legal powers to tackle problems and help tenants”. The reality is that Nottingham introduced its selective licensing scheme only in July 2018 and this can only be done if sufficient evidence is available to justify its implementation under Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004. In other words, it has taken Nottingham 14 years to implement the scheme. When Southfields councillor Paul Mercer became the Lead member for Housing in 2016, one of the first things he did was to request a paper on introducing licensing. In the resulting report, officers argued that Charnwood would not meet the legal requirement to introduce such a scheme – either selective licensing or ‘additional’ licensing of HMOs under Section 56 of the act. Amongst the various criteria, it was necessary to have ‘robust’ evidence, evidence of low rising demand and significant amount of anti-social behaviour. Over the past two years there has been a noticeable shift in the rental market with the student population in Loughborough preferring purpose-built apartments. This has meant that the bottom end of the rental market is gradually being taken over by East European immigrant families and, surprisingly, agricultural workers living in the town. The Cabinet now intends to carry out a new assessment of the possibility of introducing selective licensing of landlords in Loughborough in the belief that this will enable a number of significant problems to be tackled. These include identifying properties that do not have: A satisfactory Gas Safety Certificate. Landlord insurance for the property which includes cover for tenants to put into temporary accommodation if the property is uninhabitable as well as public liability cover. An emergency escape lighting test certificate. A fire alarm test certificate. Relevant landlord training. A written fire safety risk assessment. No council can introduce selective licensing unless it has the evidence because without it the council would be open to a legal challenge by the landlords. “It is very easy for Labour to say that they want licensing but Loughborough does not have the same problems as Nottingham and proving that we have the evidence to justify such a change is more of a challenge”, commented Paul. “I have been a firm believer in landlord licensing for several years and whilst it is easy for armchair critics such as Labour’s Arthur Gould to demand change from the sidelines, it is a challenge to actually implement such a scheme when one is in office. But what is certain is that such a scheme is more likely to be introduced if Southfields has a councillor who is a member of the controlling group on the council rather than a representative of the ineffectual Labour opposition”.