Monday, 6 September 2010

Hyndburn Landlords threaten the pending Landlord Licensing Scheme (1 Oct)

In this weekends Accrington Observer (3 September) on page 17 an organisation called Hyndburn Landlords are claiming that HBC may have failed to consult local landlords as prescribed by the guidelines set out in the Housing Act 2004 part 3.

They are attempting to have the scheme reviewed leading to a reduction in the area's that have been designated for the licensing of private landlords.They are at best seeking a more targeted manner with better prospects of success.

I have fought hard alongside Labour Councillors to bring minimum standards to bare on privately let properties in the deprived areas and for some sort of accountability of ownership, a licence, to help the Council and the Police deal trace quickly owners to assist or to take action against.

This scheme must go ahead. Resident surveys have shown 80% 67.6% in favour and around 10% against IIRC. What is disturbing is that at least one landlord faced with a £1.40 per week charge has threatened a £10 per week increase to tenants and is blaming the rise on the scheme.

It just reinforces the view that some of the worst landlords cannot be trusted and will seek to profit for greed or self interest.

The advert is asking all local landlords who feel that they have not been correctly consulted to contact them via their website (http://www.hyndburnlandlords.co.uk/) or to attend an open meeting on Thursday 9th September at 7pm at the Oaklea Public House 232 Whalley Road Accrington.

The Council wrote to all landlords that we were aware of borough wide - sending out approximately 1800 letters. However a significant number of landlords are claiming that the Council did not write to them.

It just highlights how isolated landlords are from their business, that there is no collective organisation and no industry responsibility to Hyndburn in a wider general sense. I include responsibility for strategic housing and to owner occupiers who have to put up with the consequences from the industry.

It is my view that the Council have met at least the minimum requirements for consultation as prescribed by the Act. I understand at this stage there is no intention to delay implementation, nor is there any intention to reduce the size of the licensing area. It is important the Council meet with Landlords and I believe this will occur this week as part of ongoing discussions.

It appears the Conservative Council are looking to find a way to back down from the scheme realising it is predominantly their voters they are hurting. People should take a good long hard look at the Conservatives and the people they are really standing up for and the people they are prepared to let down.