North Somerset's proposed Robin Hood Tax on Landlords | Discuss

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North Somerset's proposed Robin Hood Tax on Landlords
17/01/2016
3:42 pm
Landlord001
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Guests

Aka Selective Licensing

I've read the Council's Vision for the Future doc.  This is the bones of it:

  • A total of 1,119 dwellings could be included within the selective licensing scheme (p.9)
  • EPC data shows that 93 private rented properties have a rating of F or G which means they 'would contain a Category 1 hazard for excess cold' (p.11).  The housing stock is generally of Victorian solid stone construction which provides poor levels of thermal insulation.  Improving home energy efficiency will .... help eliminate fuel poverty (p.7)
  • The Council plan to charge landlords £320 per property to sign up voluntarily or £500 if landlords are forced to comply.

So in a nutshell, here's the Robin Hood analyis made simple:

  • All 1,119 properties levied with a licence fee would raise at least £35,808.00 for the Council.
  • Number of F or G rated properties are therefore disproportionally only 93 of the total (and 13 of these are long term empty).

The Council dresses the above facts as 'providing landlords with the opportunity to improve their properties through information and guidance' (p.16).

Oh, yes?  It means that the landlords supplying the 1026 decent homes are expected to pay the Council to chase the minority who don't look after theirs!  How is that fair?

 

The Council already have powers to go after rogue landlords:

http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/H.....using.aspx

 

The Council's evidence for introducing this selective licensing is flaky at best:

  • Many people apply to the council for social housing on the basis of disrepair in their private rented property (p.13).  WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF MANY?  NO NUMBERS ARE GIVEN, NO INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE IS SUPPLIED.
  • The Council looked at their 'records relating to complaints from private tenants about poor housing conditions' (p.14).  WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF 'POOR'? NO NUMBERS ARE PROVIDED, WHERE CAN THIS EVIDENCE BE VERIFIED?

Is there a list of landlords' complaints about tenants addressed to the Council that don't show up in reports like this?

 

Anyway, here's the diktat:

Where landlords do not take this opportunity and are found to be non-compliant they will directly bear the additional costs of the council.  This will allow us to keep the licensing fee for compliant landlords as low as possible and landlords who do not comply and provide poor housing will be expected to pay more.

Here's the bit that is snuck in under the radar:

The proposed scheme would tackle specific problems by applying conditions to all licences.  (It doesn't give examples.... so what could be imposed has endless possibilities).

The selective licensing idea could also be about job creation at the Council/saving someone from being retrenched:

There will be a dedicated licensing officer who will be able to offer advice and assistance to landlord queries in relation to property conditions (p.17).

 

SUMMARY

Be ware:  if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck (but is disguised as selective licensing) it may not be a duck!

In short, the Council are short of money and are targeting landlords to fill their coffers.  You knew that, didn't you?

 

001

28/01/2016
8:56 am
heidi morse
Guest
Guests

We are established accredited landlords in a neighbouring local authority and run a tight ship. We feel that the 15 properties we rent out in Weston will cost us dearly with the proposed selective licensing system. We are considering pulling out of the rental market for various reasons, this being one of them, and then perhaps the NS Council will have to rehouse our tenants! None of our properties have a F or G EPC and our tenants are all very happy. We as landlords are being penalised once again and feel that it is a money making exercise for the council, sorry.

28/01/2016
7:38 pm
Landlord001
Guest
Guests

Welcome to the forum, Heidi.  Thanks for posting!

Councils with Selective Licensing agendas plan to charge per property, so you are right to be concerned about the cost of licensing.  As an established and accredited landlord you are already known to your Council as a good provider of local tenanted homes.  They should be working with you, not against you!

In a nutshell, if 'Selective Licensing' was applied to your area of housing stock, you would be undertaking more work for nil gain and paying the Council for....ummm, nothing of benefit to you. 

However, it is not just costs that you need to worry about! 

Licensing alters the business dynamic of an established landlord.  You need to ask yourself now and in the future:

'Are we/will we be running this landlord business - or is this landlord business running us?'

Also note what happens as a result of the government involvement.  It diverts your attention from the unpublicised set of intended government consequences:

  • The compulsory licensing criteria (designed and written by the Public Sector) gives the local  Councils unlimited snooping rights into PRIVATE dwellings. 
  • Landlords' homes for tenants are PRIVATE spaces (and in my case, same as many others) they are well-kept places lived in and enjoyed by long standing good tenants.  Licensing allows them to become a place of public scrutiny.
  • PRIVATE local landlords then become public entities by identification on a Council register, which can be up-scaled to a National Register....... whether you want that or not.
  • PRIVATE tenants lose the privacy of their PRIVATE SECTOR rented homes.

Fortunately, I know my bailing out points:

  • I will NEVER sign my landlord life away to any Council at any price nor will I pay to do so
  • I will NEVER sell my tenants' rights of PRIVACY IN THEIR OWN HOME to the Council, albeit one that I own for these tenants to enjoy (provided they pay the rent!)

I had re-engineered my portfolio based on the Autumn Statement at the end of last year, but I've already scrapped that.  My portfolio now has what I call the Landlord001 'AT-RISK REGISTER', made up of disposals linked to the potential introduction of local council licensing shemes.

It's not tenants this time, it's the houses.  Any property within a Selective Licensing area has become potential auction material.  I've got my exit strategy worked out and I'll be gone in a flash! 

 

001 (BA Hons)

29/01/2016
5:24 pm
Badger
New Member
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Forum Posts: 1
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25/06/2014
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  • Many people apply to the council for social housing on the basis of disrepair in their private rented property (p.13).  WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF MANY?  NO NUMBERS ARE GIVEN, NO INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE IS SUPPLIED.
  • The Council looked at their 'records relating to complaints from private tenants about poor housing conditions' (p.14).  WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF 'POOR'? NO NUMBERS ARE PROVIDED, WHERE CAN THIS EVIDENCE BE VERIFIED?

Is there a list of landlords' complaints about tenants addressed to the Council that don't show up in reports like this?

001

As a public body the council will presumably be liable to respond to a freedom of information request to obtain these numbers...?

07/02/2016
9:43 am
willeywonker
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06/01/2016
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Not exactly a Robin Hood  as he took from the rich and gave to the poor - More like theft taking from a landlord and putting in their pockets!!!!  So many ROGUE Councils using  this piece of legislation to fill its coffers    -

Before councils say this is not the case that is why Government had to tighten up the rules to prevent more rogue councils like Croydon who rush through whole borough licensing through a few days before the new rules!

08/02/2016
7:35 pm
Landlord001)
Guest
Guests

Going, going.....will be gone soon!

House on my 'At Risk' register is now on the auction pile in 2 weeks time.

Bristol City Council will be implementing landlord licence in house's area from July.

In the same email, the Council are appealing to landlords to help them house the many people waiting for a property, with help to landlords etc etc....

Funny, that!  

I'm actually adding to their problem by selling up.  My tenant in situ (on partial housing benefit) is being sold to the purchaser who will kick her out in 2 months' time when they revamp the house.

Three pre-sale auction offers received today confirm the fate of the tenant.

Good luck to Bristol City Council!!

 

001

16/02/2016
11:31 am
S. Fox
Guest
Guests

I am afraid this Council has its sights firmly set on getting even more money from Landlords.  They say they are doing it to help the poorest tenants in the poorest properties.  Nonsense they will actually be making the poorest people homeless.  When the Council introduces this new Tax I will have to pass the cost on to the tenants.  I have already decided that new tenants will be asked to pay a non-returnable admin fee which will make the property even more unaffordable.  It will also force more people out of the town centre, just when the council are telling us that they are trying to get more into the town centre. This of course mean higher transport costs for these people as they will have to locate away from where all of the amenities are.

I currently house in excess of eighty people what will happen to them if I decide to close my property business will the Council be offering them affordable housing? has the Council quietly been building housing for ordinary  working people on modest incomes?

Have they even realised that the idea that land lords selling of their rental properties does not mean any of these people on modest incomes with no savings will be able to afford them. Unfortunately because these people at the Council sit in their ivory towers on comfortable incomes living comfortable lives they do not see what is really happening and unfortunately they never will.  They will never deal with the situations that Land lords have to deal with on a daily basis.  They will never meet the Rogue Tenants who fail to pay us then trash our properties just for fun.

I find it offensive that we are all being tarred with the same brush,  I am not a Rogue Landlord and feel that I offer a very good service.  Some of my tenants have lived inmy properties for almost ten years and do not want to move.  Unfortunately when this new rule comes inthey may have to.

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