Mick Roberts has published an article in Property118 following his exchange of letters with the Housing Minister regarding the selective licensing scheme in Nottingham.
The article can be seen here and is mainly a letter he has written to the Housing Minister:
Dear Rachel Maclean MP and Private Rented Sector Division,
Thank you for granting Nottingham permission for selective licensing.
For people like me, the biggest private provider to Nottingham’s homeless for more than 26 years, you are making life extremely hard for me to retire as my tenants can’t move any more, so it appears I’m stuck.
I will eventually have to evict as landlords don’t buy tenanted houses within the selective licensing scheme.
You say this: “I am satisfied with the evidence presented that the making of the designation will, when combined with other measures, contribute to an improvement in general housing conditions in the area.”
You are satisfied, are you? Have you come to ask my tenants if they are satisfied? With selective licensing, most houses get worse as the money I used to use for things like a new kitchen has instead now gone into the licensing fee.
During inspections, Nottingham Council found 2% of bad houses. This means 98% of tenants had a rent increase for nothing.
You forget that 60% of us don’t give tenants rent increases. Or didn’t till you keep tinkering and introducing new rules because Mr Bad landlord, up the road, isn’t looking after his tenant, so you come after ALL of us who are doing a good job!
You say: “Local authorities are likely to identify criminal landlords who are happy to operate without due regard to statutory obligations.”
Are you aware the criminal landlords haven’t come forward for a licence?
Yes, there is a problem with that landlord’s house up the road, so you are all getting some charges. How on earth is that going to help ALL tenants?
We have no houses left, so you landlords are getting some more onerous regulations. How on earth is that going to help homeless tenants?
Nottingham City Council want to charge me £350 to come look at one of my houses where they may find a fault (that the tenant has done) or if the tenant lets them down.
What does Nottingham City Council and Shelter think I’m going to do if I get charged £350 when a tenant has caused a fault, or if I’m trying to look after the tenant with really cheap rent?
You say: “In addition, the review found that selective licensing encourages better engagement between responsible landlords and local authorities, enabling local authorities to make sure landlords are aware of their responsibilities to tenants. This has the overall effect of encouraging a more professional sector and securing higher standards.
“We are looking at ways that councils can share their experience of successes and challenges from selective licensing of their schemes.”
Securing higher standards? Have you ever thought of coming to ask the VERY IMPORTANT tenant who hasn’t got a problem?
Or me, the biggest private provider in Nottingham who has housed more homeless benefit tenants than anyone over 26 years?