Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Thanet Council are hoping to introduce a controversial new license scheme for landlords in Margate and Cliftonville.

Briefly the idea as I understand it, is this, Thanet Council are suggesting that landlords are responsible for the conduct of tenants, and it seems they are suggesting ,Margate residents who live in rental accommodation are, I guess unruly antisocial blighters and council officers and their Conservative masters are to punish local landlords accordingly with a hefty £500+ ransom scam license fee.

This will pay for council officers to presumably do what the do best and act like busy bodies doing god knows what.

Now it will have escaped the wit of both council officers and the Conservative run council, that as a rule, most landlords seek references from tenants, so as not to attract anti social vandals, in fact I'd be surprised if any landlord did anything whatsoever to encourage unpleasantness, presumably most people want a quiet life.

Cynics like me will just assume that Thanet council is just introducing the landlord license tax, purely to plunder the pockets of local landlords and since not all landlords are rich but often people who rent property to provide investment income, perhaps for retirement, they will no doubt have little choice but to pass on the costs to their tenants who will have been squeezed by an avaricious money grabbing bunch of heartless b*st*rds who are truly antisocial, the local council.

Anyhow I understand there is to be a public meeting tonight, arranged by local landlords which I hope will enlighten me, I must admit this is an issue I should have bought up before, and its been mentioned to me by several people.

Maybe the money raise will go to pay enhanced redundancies for senior TDC officers.



  1. In other parts of the country it looks like the £500 lasts for a period of 5 years and is for a typical 3 story HMO's so the cost per tenant per week is not a lot.

    The systems also is meant to ensure that a let is safe, gas and electricity wise and in other areas.

  2. Good posting Tony, I think you are right most landlords want a quiet life and I cannot imagine anyone would want to take on the hassle of letting to a buch of anti social idiots.

  3. Landlords section 21 notice any anti social tenant. The day before bailiffs are due to call the tenants become priority for public housing and jump the housing queue to obtain council/housing assn house. So landlords, bring in anti social people, Section 21 them and pass them on to the council to house.

    Like it TDC ?

  4. 40% of the private rented properties in Cliftonville and Margate are described as Sub standard and many are a great deal worse. TDC are using a scheme that was introduced first in the midlands to crack down on slum landlords and the anti-social behaviour that goes with them

  5. As neither a landlord or tenant but an interested resident, I would suggest there is much that needs to be done to tidy up the Thanet private sector letting world. If this license fee serves that purpose then bring it on for something needs to be done.

    Certainly I cannot see how it fits the description of a scam and even less a tax on the vunerable.

  6. Here's why from last weeks TDC press release

    A landlord has been fined £10,000 for failing to comply with the requirements of two Improvement Notices served by the Council.

    In 2009, officers of the Housing Regeneration Team visited 102 Grosvenor Place in Margate and found a property containing four flats which contained serious health and safety hazards. There were no fire precautions or safe means of escape and none of the lights in the shared entrance or staircase were working. The property had been neglected and the internal conditions were dirty and dilapidated.

    Following enquiries, Sandwich Properties Ltd of Rookwood Road, London, was identified as the freehold owner. Subsequently, the council served enforcement notices on the freehold owner requiring fire safety improvements and suitable lighting within the common areas. Unfortunately, when officers returned to the premises after the notice deadlines had passed, none of the work had been completed. Attempts were made to try and meet with the company to discuss the situation, but the company ignored the council's letters.

  7. Tony I have worked with the residents of some really awfull housing and if this 'TAX' as you call it reduces the number of substandard houses I am all for it. BUT and this isa big BUT. the council are responsible for the standard and quality of housing in Thanet and are not doing their job properly at the moment. 500 QUID REGISTERS Wont change anything unless the council chases some of these absentee landlords who are little better than slum landlords and bring them to book. I doubt TDC can do it as they are crap on housing issues.

  8. See my next post Don, I see this as a scam, the landlords I saw at this meeting, seemed decent people, who probably comply and exceed standards required.

    Its just an additional tax

  9. Don
    Unless you're a landlord yourself you'd best try and avoid this issue. Tony is absolutely right; this is merely another money making wheeze by TDC.
    My wife inherited her parents bungalow when they died. This was at the start of the collapse in housing prices three years ago and after having the house on the market for over six months it was obvious that we were never going to be able to sell it (only three viewings in the whole six month period) so we decided to put it into the rental market until things improved.
    Now we're not professional landlords; you could say that we've been forced into this situation by external pressures. If we had left the house empty we would eventually have become liable for Council tax etc etc, so we had to do something with it.
    We employed the services of a reputable local agency who quickly found us tenants. We soon got word that these tenants were behaving in a somewhat anti-social way and violating the terms of their tenancy agreement so eventually we served them notice and they left, having made sure that they took whatever they thought might be useful for the future or would most inconvenience us by its absence (TV remotes etc)
    We learned our lesson from this and the bungalow has now been satisfactorily let - on an unfurnished basis - for the last year.
    We make very little money from this business; it's not just property prices that are depressed - low house prices always lead to a drop in rents. We would quite happily be out of this altogether but to be honest this is a relatively hassle-free situation at the moment and as long as we're not actually making a loss I'm happy to go along with it.
    Whenever people talk of landlords an image of a Rachman-like character springs to mind - it obviously sprung into Don's mind as he posted. Believe me, we're not all like that.

  10. Fully understand the sentiments of the last commentator having been in a similar position myself a few years ago, an accidental landlord by force of circumstances.

    Notwithstanding this experience, there are also the other kinds of landlords, the remote property companies who do no repairs and do not mind too much who lives in their premises as long as they get their rents. Local councils also have to cater for this sort and, if licensing is a way forward, it cannot be introduced selectively. Rogue landlords only to pay as it were.

    I suspect that this post is but part of the story and I do not for one moment doubt that those attending the meeting were from the decent landlord fraternity. But what about the ones who did not attend, who never visit their properties and who are more or less totally elusive. Should these be ignored because some landlords are jolly decent types?

  11. The Landlord fees should not just include Margate and Cliftonville, but all landlords in all towns, Rents are exorbitant now, if people are forced to pay such high rents they must be safe, clean and warm, many of them are not, for the landlords found to be failing they should be made to pay, those who are being good landlords should not be charged. ASB, if tenants are not behaving courts should make it easier for Landlords to evict, this also should include TDC tenants as there are just as many living in tDC rented properties as else where. TDC does not even enforce their tenancy agreements which sometimes caused years of misery for people living around the offending tenants. This must also be stopped,
    We must stop all ASB, instant fines must be en forced upon all offenders we must clean up our country, Thanet is disgustingly dirty I am ashamed to admit I live here.

  12. I agree that standards should be set not locally but nationally. The tax on landlords within this small area is going to create a ghetto - who will want to buy in this area now?

    I take a lot more care of the flat I rent out in Cliftonville than my landlords do in my rented accom. in a fashionable part of London.

    I make little or no money after I have paid the mortgage and maintenance bills and this will see me loose money this year. A blatant fund raising excercise in my opinion.