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  • Property-a-holics

    Councils failing tenants and good landlords



    Two thirds of councils in England and Wales brought no prosecutions against private landlords in 2017/18 according to research by the Residential Landlords Association.

    Nearly a fifth of councils didn’t even issue any Improvement Notices which order a landlord to carry out certain repairs or improvements to a property.

    Following the introduction in April 2017 of new powers for councils to issue civil penalties against landlords failing to provide acceptable housing, in 2017/18 89 per cent of local authorities did not use these new powers. Half reported that they did not have a policy in place to use them.

    Analysis of the results from 290 local authorities replying to Freedom of Information requests from the RLA’s research exchange, PEARL, showed that that there was no clear link between a council operating a licensing scheme for landlords and levels of enforcement.

    As MPs today prepare to debate the private rented sector, the RLA is arguing that the results show that tenants and good landlords are being failed by a system unable to root out criminal landlords.

    The RLA is calling for a renewed focus on enforcing the powers already available to councils. This includes sustainable funding for enforcement departments, using council tax returns to help identify landlords and councils doing more to find and take action against criminal landlords.

    David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said:

    “These results show that for all the publicity around bad landlords, a large part of the fault lies with councils who are failing to use the wide range of powers they already have. Too many local authorities fall back on licensing schemes which, as this report proves, actually achieve very little except to add to the costs of the responsible landlords who register.

    “Instead of policing licensing schemes, councils need to focus on finding and taking action criminal landlords.”

    Property Tribes was also able to record this video to supplement this press announcement:


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    Really good work here,

    i could see his frustrations in the video Smile

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    Thank you for that, a real eye opener.

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    Probably the most disgraceful finding is that whilst landlords have paid literally millions to councils in licensing fees, patently very little of it is being used to seek and prosecute non compliant landlords.  Councils pocket the money, obviously use it for some other purpose, and then loudly complain about unfit homes in the PRS.

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    MPs have called on the government to confiscate properties from the country’s worst landlords after a series of revelations about tenants being exploited by rogue sections of the private rented housing sector.

    The calls followed a hard-hitting select committee report in April, as well as a joint Guardian and ITV News investigation which last month revealed that convicted landlords ruled unfit to rent out their properties were continuing to operate by exploiting a gap in the law.

    During a debate on the committee’s recommendations on Thursday, MPs from across the Commons urged the housing minister Heather Wheeler to introduce new powers to seize properties of the worst landlords.

    Full/source article

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    Great videos from David

    What part of "use the legislation and powers you already have before calling for new ones" is so hard to understand?

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    A common excuse from my local council for not taking action for buildings with abysmal common areas or exteriors is that where flats in a building are leasehold they cannot hold the leaseholders responsible for exterior/common areas and that contacting freeholders is often very difficult, in addition where a managing agent looks after common areas usually they will not make improvements without freeholders authority and again they’ll claim they cannot contact freeholder.

    Its been suggested to me that even leaseholders have a responsibility for safe access to their flat through a common area, does anyone know if this is correct?

    either way it seems that there is a gap in legislation which is easily exploited by those wishing to do so.

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    ``Its been suggested to me that even leaseholders have a responsibility for safe access to their flat through a common area, does anyone know if this is correct?``

    Yes there is . For instance if there was a wardrobe / washing machine / cycle etc stored in a common area it could impede the fire service accessing the flats with all their hoses and equipment in the event of a fire 

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Like David I have been having reasoned arguments with councils for 35 years on a variety of subjects

    Some would say I attack them, some would say I am just being assertive

    It may be a fine line between the two .

    Three latest examples.  ( I could list 100 )

    1) 10 days on they havent paid me £2,300 that they said they would pay me within 3- 5 days. As a result a homeless person wont get housed

    2) They have just built a retaining party wall adjoining my garden saying they would consult with me first and address my clear concerns but they didnt consult me they just did it one day without telling me  .  I wouldnt dream of doing the same to them

    3)1 mth ago i reported a failing heating system in a communal block and they have still yet to fix it . I would fix that within 48hrs max

    Their level of incompetency is the standard  - not the exception

    I`m sure individually they are very nice people and mean no harm

    And I dont believe they target me as a LL, its just their level of incompetency that may feel as if they do

    I will always have a dialogue with them but sometimes legal  direct action is more effective

    So I support David in his endeavours using reasoned arguments  within the higher echelons of  the council to bring about change slow time

    But I  would equally likewise support a co ordinated  sit in in the council`s foyer  by 100`s of homeless people who have been stuck in B&B`s for over the legal 6 week limit . The council routinely breaks this law day in day out . That action would bring press attention and swifter action sometimes I believe than just dialogue and expose the incompetencies and hypocrisy of local government who try to enforce laws on LL`s while consistently breaking laws themselves

    The world needs all types of action  to bring about change

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com