Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Newham Licence Landlord Proposals Landlords review

NEWHAM -  November12
Sir Robin Wales
John East -  director Infrastructure
Ian dick -  Strategic manager
Simon Reece -  head of Business Initiatives and Investment
Shona Elliott -  public affairs
+One other

Either RW is the greatest confidence trickster since Bernard Madoff or he really wants to get the majority of landlords investing in Newham for the good of the borough.  I couldn’t say this, but the presentation of his scheme has been the biggest foul-up since the Poll Tax so far as it appears to be understood by landlords and agents. See consultation documents. However, landlords are now signing up.

In a nutshell, for 8p a day for five years -  equivalent to £150* paid before 1 January 2013 -  a landlord can protect his/her reputation and keep the council off their back. Call it a protection racket if you like (but not to them), but a signed-up landlord will:
-          Exclude themselves from prosecution, unless they transgress
-          Agree to a set of management standards (just like accreditation)
For the majority this will mean no bother they claim.

(* after Jan 1st, the rate will be £500)
Meanwhile LBN will :
-          Focus first on HB landlords, who represent 33% of their 35,000-strong PRS, about 13,500 landlords
-          Tackle RTB landlords who seem to be lower-end properties
-          Target subletting – which causes overcrowding. LBN says it’s a particular problem where a landlord generally has no idea that a couple will rent a property and sub-let to another 2-4-6-or more.

LBN is creating Community Hubs, from which staff [community wardens] will patrol streets weekly, assessing properties for signs of renting and also rubbish dumped in gardens and checking against the landlord register.

LBN has also paid for 30 police constables to support its enforcement

They don’t know how many landlords operate in LBN. So far 4000 have registered. I advised that 35,000 properties should mean at least 10,000 landlords. They thought fewer, maybe five to eight, which would of course support their perception of achievement.

In the event of a complaint about a registered property/landlord, LBN claims not to be interested in using HHSRS etc, but will use the licence as its strongest weapon. Comply or lose the licence and be criminally liable if you continue to rent.

1                     RLA Membership. RW says association members are by definition better landlords. Therefore extension access to the £150 rate for RLA members. (And I suppose also NLA, SPLA and LLAS.)
2                     Training -  RLA standard and special LBN course.  Late entrants to attend course and get lower rate.

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