28 Jan 2021

Landlords you need to make your voice heard! You have only until February 11 to respond to the licensing proposals of the City of Westminster council. Except you can’t.

The City of Westminster has some 52,700 rental properties constituting 43 per cent of its total housing stock. 

With a large proportion of these properties marked as HMOs, the council has published a proposed licensing scheme to – in its words – “ensure that Westminster has a safe, well-managed, and professional-run private rented sector.” Though of course we all know that is forked-tongue for “The biggest cashflow generator we’ve dreamed up in decades.”

These proposals, now open to formal consultation, were backed by respondents to an earlier consultation in autumn 2020, with almost 70 per cent in agreement. 

The council is now asking for feedback and input on the proposed additional policy before a decision is made on whether to implement.

Except the links on the City of Westminster website just take you round and round in circles to the same two pages and NOWHERE is there a form to complete or any method to make your comments heard. Here try it for yourself see the proposals here 

I think that tells you all you need to know about the council’s truly intentions.

The proposed Additional Licensing Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupancy will focus on Westminster’s 9,000-plus HMOs including flat shares, bedsits, and buildings converted into flats.  

Not only will they make 9,000 x lets say £1000 or so per HMO – that’s £9million in licence fees that we’ve yet to see single council produce i dependent research to who it makes any difference to housing quality they will make 100 times that in Landlord Fines. So that will be, let’s say, be another £900million in the council’s coffers.

Readers will instantly spot the similarity to the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, as councils drag decent landlords into their torture chambers, destroying their business, their mental health and the lives of their families, because they’re far easier to ‘’tax’ the the real villainous landlords who are too much like hard work to get money out of.

More Robin Hoods are needed to protect Landlords from the greed and bully-boy tactics of these unaccountable and out of control councils. 

Under current national laws, the council can only license 300 of the estimated 9,000 HMOs but the new proposed scheme will increase this number significantly “and drastically improve the local authority’s ability to enforce essential housing standards and protect residents” it says. 

As is commonly the case with licensing proposals, the council claims they will drive up housing standards, establish a common standard and drastically increase interventions in property affected by poor tenancy management, the need for repairs, fire safety hazard, and anti-social behaviour.

Come on councils of England – we are waiting for the slightest vestige of proof of these outlandish claims.

You can see the proposals here but we challenge you to find a way to respond

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