*BREAKING NEWS* Landlord group stops local authority going ahead with Selective Licensing | Page 2 | Discuss

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*BREAKING NEWS* Landlord group stops local authority going ahead with Selective Licensing
25/08/2016
11:26 am
Stacie
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I am thoroughly disgusted by Mike Bells comments on 'letting down the many hundreds of people who are living in poor-quality private rented accommodation' - what a totally ridiculous statement from someone who clearly has no idea what they're talking about. Anyone with any sense would see that the best way forward is to work with the good landlords not against them.
NO ONE wants rogue landlords but to tar everyone with the same brush is narrow minded and bordering on insanity! After all, WE are amongst the landlords who help the council house the homeless - so where would the council be without us?
Mike Bell should clearly think before he speaks and make sure he has his facts correct instead of spouting this drivel.

25/08/2016
1:33 pm
bigbrother
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Councillor Bell is actually letting down his constituents with his comments, as they can only act as an extra wedge between good landlords, their tenants and the council. As Stacie has quite rightly pointed out; what would the council do if all landlords in North Somerset removed their stock from their housing list?... Yell

Time for the out of touch dinosaurs of the council ie Bell and Ap Rees to resign.

25/08/2016
1:36 pm
AngryLL
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These outbursts by our peers, who are supposed to be running our communities, is scandalous. He should listen to the proposals first before running his mouth!

25/08/2016
2:09 pm
Paul Routledge
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Those that are apathetic about Selective Licensing have a look at this Bristol Selective Licensing Application Form, as THIS is the information that you must provide the council PER PROPERTY:

CLICK HERE TO SEE

26/08/2016
3:15 pm
SamiiB
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Councillor Bell has just replied via the facebook group;

'Hi Paul - I've messaged you, very happy to meet with you and hear more about your views. I’m disappointed that the scheme will not go ahead as planned and has been derailed by the threat of legal action from some landlords, but I am more disappointed by the council's actions than by yours.

This has come about because the council has failed to handle the consultation on the scheme appropriately and simply hasn’t done it’s homework to get the scheme right. You can hardly blame landlords for challenging the scheme when it appears the council, even after five months of consultation and a year of preparation, couldn’t get it right.

The fact remains that there are real concerns about the quality of some privately rented housing in Weston town centre and there are too many bad landlords out there who are not interested in providing decent homes for local people. It's clear that everyone wants to see that addressed in the best way possible and I look forward to working positively to achieve that.

I am pushing for the review of the plans to be undertaken as quickly as possible and to make sure that the needs of tenants and landlords are fully taken into account.'

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26/08/2016
3:16 pm
Paul Routledge
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for joining the group.

I understand your concerns, but the truth is nothing in life is accomplished by using a big stick to beat innocent people to try and get the bad ones to come out of the bushes. The truth is that bad ones stay in the bushes and the good ones just give up trying and then invariably turn bad.

Our point is that, acting within government guidelines North Somerset did not have a case to selectively license Weston Super Mare in the first place so to build a case that even half stood a chance it had to be perfunctory from the outset.

Please call me on 0800 9994 994 or Sam Jackson (I think she emailed you) and let’s get a coffee before we formally submit our alternatives to NSC.

26/08/2016
3:17 pm
SamiiB
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Mike Bell 's reply:

Paul thanks, will be in touch. As an aside, I am a ward councillor for a lot of the area affected by the scheme and you won't be surprised to learn that I wasn't informed about any of your discussions with the council or told about the halt to the scheme until I happened to see it on the council website. The council hasn't even communicated with its own councillors on this ... '

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26/08/2016
4:04 pm
David Price
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I did not learn much during my lifetime of working for Central Government but one expression I did learn was 'Cash Cow', never quite understood the significance until selective licensing was moo-ted.

26/08/2016
4:12 pm
PaulBarrett
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Is it now getting beyond a joke that many if not most councils as the governance given the facility to introduce localist policies have proven to be so far totally inept.

So many divergent policies is just bonkers

Surely it is time for Govt to take over the licensing concept and come up with an acceptable template for all types of licensing?

This to be strictly adhered to by all councils.

Councils have shown their levels of incompetence with these licensing issues, though I'm sure very few LL are surprised.

The problem is that such incompetence is having and will have devastating financial effects on LL and tenants alike.

The wrongun LL out there will continue to be so.

They take no notice of legal authority and will continue their deviant behaviour.

It is only the good LL that will be affected as they will have to bears the prohibitive extra costs.

The rogue LL will remain to have an unfair competitive advantage over LL who do comply with these seemingly and mostly bonkers licensing schemes.

Personally I know I simply could not sustain such licensing fees.

In addition to S24, increased service charges for my flats, a normal annual rent increase, would mean my rents having to increase by about £200 pm for the next 4 years reducing to £150 pm

I just don't see that tenants would have sufficient rent to pay for these increased costs

When you have costs exceeding net income it is pointless being a LL

Why bother to provide housing when effectively it results in no income of even worse being taxed on fictitious income!?

I have to say I am questioning as to what is the business point in being a mortgaged residential sole trader LL!?

26/08/2016
5:09 pm
David Price
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Paul that is just the reaction this government wants.  All the small unincorporated landlords off the streets (pun intended, you know me) and the big boys taking over and charging what they like.

Incorporation is financially difficult but at least it establishes a higher base price when you eventually sell to one of those mythical first time buyers.  The tax has been paid in advance.

26/08/2016
7:02 pm
PaulBarrett
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@david,

Accepting what you advise.

When tenants are advised rent will need to be increased or the LL will have to sell up will tenants pay up.

They would of course be warned about the inevitable situation which you conjecture would occur, that is institutions buying up and charging MORE rent.

How do we small LL convince tenants it is better to pay the small LL rent increases than wait for us to be taxed out of existence only to be replaced by institutions charging far more rent than us!?

I fear few tenants will agree to paying more rent to their little LL forcing him out of business

Of course the tenants will be in for a shock when the institutional rent increases start occurring 

They will as you have suggested be substantially more than the little LL would have increased rents.

I doubt many tenants will be that bothered about the business issues of LL and will seek out LL who may offer lower rents though I can't see rents being lower just because tenants are struggling to pay.

Costs are what they are and if not paid for by rental income with a profit on top there is NO viable business.

Which is essentially the outcome you have suggested wants.

Looking at the evidence so far I can't really disagree with your proposition.

I have worked out I could make more net income out of taking in 2 lodgers.

Though of course I would lose the capital gain on the individual properties I currently hold

But as capital gain looks like being taxed as income it maybe doesnt make much sense to retain multiple mortgaged properties.

So for me a larger property with say 2 lodgers seems to make more financial sense as far as net income is concerned

So perhaps sell up now, buy a larger 4 bed house, get 2 lodgers leaving a spareroom as an office 

A limitation would be that no more than 2 lodgers may be permitted.

Lenders have restrictive conditions on numbers of lodgers

There is also the problem of local licensing which causes a property with 3 or mor lodgers to ba an HMO requiring expensive licensing etc.

So to me it seems like buy a big house, do it up to have en-suite bedrooms and and take in lodgers, whilst officially living in the property as a PPR.

Of course there is nothing to stop a LL hardly ever being at home as he has such a busy social life and may have even chosen to take on a rental pied de terre!!

27/08/2016
10:29 am
David Price
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Or do what I intend, sell everything and go and live in South East Asia where a  luxury twin room in a modern hotel with breakfast, sufficient to last the day, 50 inch television, air conditioning and use of a large swimming pool, costs £1,500 a month.  I have no doubt that long term guests could negotiate a lower rate.  No changing sheets, washing clothes, cooking, dish washing etc and free wifi to enable you to continue blogging.

Visas are no problem if you come over as a millionaire (in their currency).

The biggest decision you will ever have to make is with whom do you share the room?

But we digress from selective licensing which is yet another tax to deter private landlords.  Welcome to the americanised world of corporate slavery, shall we call it "The Great British Dream"?  If you are rich its fine if you are poor . . . . well you really do not matter anyway.

For the record this is not my attitude just my perception of the way our country is being pushed by evil, selfish politicians.

27/08/2016
2:03 pm
PaulBarrett
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Hmmm!

Your proposed domestic living arrangements really does sound like a just in living situation

I can definitely see the attractions in your suggestion.

Sort of wherever I lay my hat is my home.

As you intimate costs are eminently more affordable

I have an associate who has moved to Phuket and lives a very cheap lifestyle.

 The pound certainly goes a long way in Thailand!

I like you believe Govt is on a self destructive course to eradicate all mortgaged sole trader LL.

I only have 8 years to go anyway when I will have to sell up as I will not be able to remortgage due to personal circumstances.

So I'll survive if I can until then though it is looking dodgy with S24

I have determined I need to be a very unsuccessful LL to survive S24

So I plan on being so!

So magically my costs and income will be roughly equal.

So no net income for me if you know what I mean

I reckon many other LL will be planning to become unsuccessful as well

Most tenants will be willing to play the game, but this is only achievable if you self manage!

But I might go the big house route sooner rather than later.

There are hundreds of desperate tenants looking for rooms etc

Nobody seems to wish to rent out their spare rooms so money can't be that tight can it!?

30/08/2016
9:48 am
SamiiB
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Weston landlords are 'running scared' of licensing as tenants fight back

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/b.....story.html

... LMAO! Really weak reporting Bristol Post, considering the 'founder member' is a home owner and not a tenant at all! Yell

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30/08/2016
9:49 am
Paul Routledge
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I spoke to Mr Rice for an hour and quite frankly the guy doesn't have a clue what he's talking about!
The data he's using comes from the Health Needs Assessment and is the same data the council tried to use without it being evidenced. As Samii's already said the bloke isn't even a landlord, never been a landlord and in point of fact couldn't tell me when he'd been a tenant. He used to be an insurance salesman and when I told him that the evidence NSC were using was stale and out of date from the 2012 EPC register [WAIT ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!] he said 'what's an EPC?'
I think Mr Rice needs to understand one thing; do not try and tell other people how to do their job until you know how to do their job.

30/08/2016
2:04 pm
Landlord001
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WHAT A HYPOCRITE!!!

He obviously doesn't have enough to do..............

01/09/2016
10:25 am
SamiiB
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Page 21 in this weeks Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury:

'Good landlords and tenants' must be helped
Grace Earl - grace.earl@archant.co.uk

North Somerset council received more than 750 complaints in a single year about poor standards of privately-rented housing - with issues ranging from damp and mould to condemned boilers and mice.
   Statistics obtained via a Freedom of Information (FoI) request show the authority received some 754 complaints from unhappy tenants in 2014 alone.
   All of the complaints were then investigated by the council's private housing team, but no prosecutions resulted.
   The request was submitted to the council by the Somerset Property Network, which had previously threatened to take the council to a judicial review over its plants to introduce a landlord licensing area in Weston town centre.
   However, the council announced last week it would not be introducing this scheme in November, as it had previously said, and both the authority and the SPN pledged to work alongside one another to improve standards for tenants.
   Of the complaints made in 2014, only 105 of these were within the proposed Weston licensing area - and only five of these complaints were issued with notices of improvement by North Somerset.
   A spokesman for the SPN said: "We intend to work with the council to curb antisocial behaviour and offer additional support and education for landlords in North Somerset, via our online forums, to improve standards right across the board.
   "The private rental sector needs to accept the rental market is changing and carries many responsibilities.
   "We need to prove we are capable to self-regulate, monitor and control our activities in a professional manner - and those who do not wish to join will be left at the mercy of the council and the courts.
"We just want it to be a fair system where good landlords and good tenants benefit, and those who are intent on treating tenants as cash cows and tenants who are intent on treating their landlords like unpaid hoteliers will come to a swift end."
   The SPN will meet to discuss future plans at 7pm on October 12th, at the Royal Hotel in South Parade, Weston.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SomersetPropertyNetwork/
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05/09/2016
10:50 am
Paul Routledge
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Good morning all!

The name of the company for the accreditation is going to represent a national body if others wish to join us, therefore we have chosen the name National Landlord Code of Excellence Limited (NLCE). The code of excellence will be set to a standard that will set a precedent for landlords to meet in order to rent out their property.

The new trading name will allow for the regions of North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council will be West of England Accreditation Landlord Scheme.

The National Code of Excellence will then be able to be adopted for other areas that are fighting selective licensing, as an alternative to those areas.

Anyone wishing to make a last minute pledge for shares needs to make it no later than 3pm today, even if you cannot get the money to us immediately we will take your word up until 3pm today.

Account Name: Cadogan House Investment Properties Limited
Bank: Lloyds
Sort code: 30-99-51
Account number: 47268968
Cheques: ACCEPTED
Cash: ACCEPTED (5 St Margarets Terrace, WSM, BS23 1AH - 9am-5pm)
Telephone payments: NOT AVAILABLE.
(For bank transfers please use Reference: Somerset Property Network, along with your name and email address)

08/09/2016
10:11 am
SamiiB
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Page 17 of this weeks WestonMercury.co.uk

Campaign to bring back Weston landlord licensing scheme set up

Grace Earl - grace.earl@archant.co.uk

A petition has been launched to overturn a 'shameful' decision to scrap a selective licensing scheme for landlords in Weston town centre.
   North Somerset Council had been due to introduce the scheme - which would have seen landlords pay £320 per property - in November; but it announced last month the scheme would not be going ahead as planned.
   The council was planning to introduce the licences to improve accommodation standards and they would have covered the whole of Central ward, along with part of Hillside ward.
   However, the area's landlords joined foces to form the Somerset Property Network (SPN) in response to the proposal and had planned to take the council to a judicial review if the scheme went ahead. The network also launched a petition of its own against the proposed licensing.
Now, town centre resident Alan Rice has launched a rival petition with the help of social change organisation Acorn UK to get the licences introduced as planned.
Mr Rice said: "At Banksy's Dismaland I came across Acorn UK, who pressed for selective licensing in Easton in Bristol - resulting in a unanimous decision by Bristol City Council to bring it in.
   "I was delighted that North Somerset was to do the same in Weston, but I was livid when in spite of a consultation, with 62% (of respondents) in favour, the council backed down after pressure from the landlords."
   The SPN criticised Mr Rice's actions and said it was helping to create a national landlords' code of excellence to improve the situation.
   A spokesman for the SPN said: "The selective licensing scheme cannot be resurrected as it is perfunctory, the data is stale and the submissions are inconclusive.
   "This is why we are now working very closely with landlords, tenants and the council to bring together the national landlords' code of excellence, whereby all landlords, tenants and local authorities benefit from their unification to create a better private rental sector."
   The council also said it was committed to working alongside landlords - rather than against them - to drive up standards.
   A spokesman for the authority said: "We are committed to improving conditions in the private rented sector, which has the poorest housing of any sector both nationally and in North Somerset, and will continue to do this by working with landlords and agents and through the use od enforcement powers.
   "Where landlords do not comply with minimum standards, we use our range of enforcement powers to take legal action as appropriate.
   "This could be through the service of improvement notices, prohibiting the use of the building or initiating a prosecution for criminal breaches of the legislation."

- - - - - - - 

The full SPN quote in reply to this latest article:
This has been an ongoing complication for several weeks now, where this chap called Alan Rice has decided to pioneer an ethical lettings support group to bring back selective licensing. The problem is, Mr Rice does not understand that the ethics lie in not having to charge desperate tenants more because of a scheme which simply will not work. Fundamentally this group does not understood the legalities of the consultation being perfunctory.
Mr Rice does not understand that the EPC data which was supplied was stale and drawn from 2012 and he does not understand that the complaints made to the council were 90% unsupported and bordering on spurious. 
Paul Routledge had a three quarter of an hour conversation with Mr Rice and during that conversation Mr Rice admitted to him that he had never been a landlord and that in fact that he was a tenant over 30 years ago and a retiree from the insurance business. Also, when Paul challenged Mr Rice on the data supplied by the Council on the EPC's Mr Rice asked him 'What is an EPC?' (!!) An Energy Performance Certificate is the fundamental basis of any claim made for poor housing conditions. It was at that point Paul could not continue to have a conversation with somebody who is neither in the industry or has been in the industry, was a tenant some 30 years ago, did not understand the fundamental workings of the private rented sector and that has no absolutely no credibility within the private rented sector industry - yet has been made in charge of this 'action group' to run around, shooting off their pistols into the crowd. 
 
The point is, the Selective Licensing Scheme cannot be resurrected as it is perfunctory, the data is stale and the submissions are inconclusive. This is why we are now working very closely with landlords, tenants and NSC to bring together the National Landlords Code of Excellence, whereby all landlords, tenants and local authorities benefit from their unification to create a better PRS. 
What we do not need is an uncredible and uneducated [in the PRS] vigilantes creating unnecessary waves that shouldn't really be given the time of day in the first place. And its interesting to note that the majority of the signatures on this latest 'petition' are not from the area at all, but from Worthing, Swindon, etc...
We have invited representatives of Acorn Weston-super-Mare to attend our next SPN meeting (7pm, October 12th at The Royal Hotel, WSM) but have heard nothing as yet.
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08/09/2016
3:10 pm
Landlord001
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LOCALISM ACT 2011:

New rights and powers for communities

Greater freedom and flexibilities for local government are vital for achieving the shift in power the government wants to see. But, on their own, these measures will not be enough. Government alone does not make great places to live, people do. People who look out for their neighbours, who take pride in their street and get involved - from the retired teacher who volunteers in the village shop once a month, to the social entrepreneur who runs the nursery full time.
 
Until now, however, many people have found that their good ideas have been overlooked and they have little opportunity to get on and tackle problems in the way they want. Voluntary and community groups often find that their potential contribution is neglected, when, in fact, they carry out some of the most
innovative and effective work in public services and we should be encouraging them to get more involved. This Act passes significant new rights direct to communities and individuals, making it easier for them to get things done and achieve their ambitions for the place where they live.
 
CCommunity right to challenge
 

the service in which the cha

The Government thinks that innovation in public services can offer greater value for taxpayers’ money and better results for local communities. The best councils are constantly on the look out for new and better ways to design and deliver services. Many recognise the potential of social enterprises and community groups to provide high-quality services at good value, and deliver
services with and through them. In some places, however, voluntary and community groups who have bright ideas find that they do not get a proper hearing. The Localism Act gives these
groups, parish councils and local authority employees the right to express an interest in taking over the running of a local authority service. The local authority must consider and respond to this

challenge; and where it accepts it, run a procurement exercise
for the service in which the challenging organisation can bid. This makes it easier for local groups with good ideas to put them forward and drive improvement in local services.

 
 
 
 
 
North Somerset Council has now rightly recognised its local landlords as an important community group i.e. they are the providers of much needed accommodation to people who require homes in North Somerset, offering residences that the Council cannot provide themselves. 
 
Landlords are also the entrepreuners who have chosen to invest in the area. They are well placed to be involved in the area's present and future development strategy:  they are the very supporters of good tenants in good places that every community needs!
 
As quoted above, The Localism Act gives landlords i.e. SPN, the right to express an interest in taking over the running of a local authority service - in this case, the policing of complaints about private sector tenancies in North Somerset.  There is no equivalent right for the likes of Mr Rice - and interlopers like him - who aren't local! 
 
Under the Localism Act there has been 'reform of social housing regulation':
 
The Act also changes the way that complaints about social landlords are handled.  Currently, there are two separate ombudsmen (the LocalGovernment Ombudsman and the Independent Housing Ombudsman) handling social tenants’ complaints about their landlord. In the future, a single watchdog
(the Independent Housing Ombudsman) specialising in complaints about social housing will ensure greater consistency across the sector.
 
 
This tells us at least two things:
 
1.  That social tenants also find reasons to complain!!  (Perhaps Mr Rice would like to investigate?) The PRS is too often the focus of all tenancy irregularities yet the bias continues.....
 
2.  That the social housing sector has re-organised itself to ensure greater consistency in the future - suggesting that it has been operating variable standards until recently.  In other words, it's far from perfect itself!
 
Given the above, the North Somerset Council owes it to its community of landlords to allow them to address their own issues from now on - and also allow them exactly the same opportunity as that taken by government to 'ensure greater consistency' in the future.  So what's good for the goose........
 
As landlords, there's work for us to do!  This is a golden opportunity so let's make the most of it by pooling our strengths and uniting as one voice.  My message to NSP is to stay focussed on the job in hand and don't be taken off course by the interlopers who have no role in the community - nor any rights under the Localism Act 2011.  
 
 
001 BA (Hons) Social Policy and Criminolgy
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