Wednesday, February 09, 2011

update on Landlord tax

Attended last nights Landlords meeting ,at which the case, for the councils License scheme was in my opinion demolished bit by bit by speaker Mike Stimpson, in a clear and articulate manner and despite the sterling efforts of Cllr Chris Wells supported by a couple of TDC officers to defend the policy, I doubt any of the audience were persuaded.
The main criticisms focused on, Thanet councils case, evidence and or argument for the scheme being err tilted in favour of their desire to introduce it, secondly similar schemes have or are running elsewhere and if anything proven, that far from improving rental accommodation or curbing antisocial behaviour, the imposition of £500 pound tax, stops further investment and further blights areas of deprivation.
The suggestion that the scheme will in anyway improve the quality of property in Margate and Cliftonville as a result, would seem a nonsense, as landlords have obligations, as do Thanet council have powers to enforce and as I mentioned before which was also raised, the point that in general most landlords do not entice antisocial elements into their property.
Something Thanet council and landlords seemed to agree, was the fact, that an estimated half million pounds was coming the councils way and the source, I guess will be tenants who will presumably be, in many cases hardworking people, living in our low wage economy or those whom fate has chosen to live on money recycled by the tax system to benefit claimants. Thanks Bayford and crew.
I understand that several of the speakers believe TDC's decision to be unlawful unfortunately I left before that mechanics of potential legal action was discussed.
As a PS, I see despite all the kerfuffle, Cllr Clive Hart, Thanet  Labour leader, was present with Labour colleagues and has not allowed current controversy, to get in the way of following issues important to his ward.  Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to ask him any questions on that other business, leaving when I did, since I have to get up at stupid O'clock most days.


  1. From the meeting it was very clear that everyone wanted to see Cliftonville West improved but most felt there are other ways to do it. The facts were reiterated - that the implementation of the scheme does not appear appropriate for the area, given the data. There is no evidence for the two main implementation criteria - that there is low demand for properties, and there is evidence linking antisocial behaviour with privately rented properties. I don't know Cllr Wells but he seemed like a dog with a bone, and the facts appeared to completely bounce off him (fingers in ears, la la la).

    It was agreed that several property owners would club together to fund getting a QC's opinion about the lawfulness or otherwise of the proposed scheme, and the likelihood of success of a judicial review to challenge it's implementation. If the QC says it is unlawful then I would hope that TDC would not waste any more money ploughing on with the scheme, and reconsider their options in dealing with antisocial behaviour in this area, as well as pursuing the slum landlords (some of whom were in the audience, incidentally) over property standards.


    Far too many have fingers in their ears and too many with fingers pies. The show is over the people can see through the lies.

    Next they will have us believe the police are their to protect us and the council have our best interests at heart 'didnt Hilter speak along the same lines to fool the public into voting for him'?

    Its all just BIG FAT LIES they can only fool some of the people some of the time.

  3. Landlords are a business and, if they're subjected to this stealth tax, they'll just pass the cost onto tenants through higher rents. Fewer tenants will then want to rent their properties and, unless the can be sold, they'll probably go into decline, further blighting the area.
    And, out of interest, why is that social housing is excluded from these draconian fees? Is it because their tenants are so genteel and refined that they'd never behave in an anti-social manner? Or is it because Thanet Council would never get away with stinging housing associations etc in this way?

  4. Fiona
    That'll be the pompous Chris Wells that so enjoys insulting the electorate in local blogs.

  5. Another vital point which Cllr Wells was simply wrong about was the evidence that selective licensing schemes actually have any beneficial effects. In the audience was a landlord who has a large number of properties Hartlepool, Burnley and Durham (I think) where selective licensing schemes exist. He clearly said that no benefit has been seen in any of these areas, and that the only effect has been that property prices have actually decreased, anecdotally because investors don't want to buy in those areas because of the licensing scheme.

    Would a doctor ever give a sick patient a treatment which has no proven efficacy? Especially one which might even cause harm? Through misguidance and desperation about what else to do to solve the ills of Cliftonville West, TDC are proposing to do just that.

  6. Fiona

    Obviously Cllr Wells doesn't read this blog or by now you would have been subjected to the full force of his staggering contempt for the electorate. He is, unfortunately, only representative of the majority of TDC

  7. He does read it Fiona but just bypasses any real debate and refuses to answer any awkward questions that might show him in a bad light.This is a refection of the whole LIB/LAB/CON being imposed and is a total scam.

  8. I do not align myself politically. I have my own party - it's called the CAC (Campaign Against Crap).

  9. You have a humungous job on your hands there Fiona, hope you have a decent pair of wellies and a good sized shovel.

  10. The Landlords Assn to which I belong has a daily email circulation of tenants names who skip leaving property damage and rent arrears.

    Research shows that when private tenants are aware (Data Protection Act obligation on Landlord to inform them) that they may face difficulty skipping from tenancy to tenancy, and that they will be caught for the rent arrears and property damage they leave in their wake, that they tend to remain in the tenancy they have, that anti-social behaviour reduces by 80% and they ain't so inclined to pocket the housing benefits (IE Steal it).

    I have just traced a tenant who skipped about two years ago to catch up with him with two County Court judgments for his rent arrears (due to stealing his housing benefits and not paying it over as rent. Whilst at it I informed Watford Council of his new address as they have Court orders for uunpaid council tax going back years. I informed his previous gas, water and electric suppliers as they are owed thousands by him.

    What goes on with local authorities you ask ? He owes a lot of money to Watford and they cannot trace him when he is claiming at an authoprity just 50 miles away.

    First5 thing public sector parasistes in council offices is ensure that claimants for housing benefits are listed on the voters lists. IE Benefits dept liaise with the electoral roll dept and put name and address together so county courts and othger debts catch up with them. Including debts owed to other councils.

    Notice that Landlords organising has achieved an 80% reduction of anti social behaviour without any licence scheme or public sector parasite (police and council) involvement.

    Next thing public sector come down hard on housing associations who simply refuse to use the anti social behaviour legislation that is in place. Particularly the Family Intervention Tenancy.

    For example Dane Housing (North of England) won't use such tenancy agreements because they are waiting for other housiong assns to cop the test cases in the law courts.

    Next thing public sector is to stop your "Housing advisory service" morons being manipulated by private tenants who turn their landlords over for rent in order to attract notice and jump the public housing queue. Really many such public sector people shpoul;d have faced charges for aiding and abetting the theft of public funds (Housing benefits).

    Another council area in which I own BTL property has a Residential Landlords Assn run by the council. To belong to it landlords follow a voluntary code which includes electrical safety certs as well as yearly gas safety certs etc. The council holds landlord seminars on co-operating with policy for addressing anti-social behaviour. And I think that idea is the way to go.

  11. I am not sure how this works. But a bankruptcy broker hereabouts has been handling voluntary bankruptcy for landlords.

    One is a high profile case so best not refer to it.

    Another involved a landlady with 43 BTL properties. 17 tenancies were pocketing their housing benefits but also being caught fiddling benefits. So the council housing benefits recovery action was to deduct the fiddled benefits from the housing benefits payable to the 26 honest tenants. Hence the landlady ends up doubling her rent arrears losses because she is repaying overpaid housing benefits she never received in the first place.

    If the averasge cost of gaining possession is five grand then she has 17 properties to repair before new tenancies can be offered plus she is copping ongoing losses against her 26 honest tenancies.

    And she saw the bankruptcy broker and ended up sending 43 sets of keys back to the building society.

    I think it is about £200 per property to hold a beneficial interest (just in case property values go up) and that way the problems created by the council can be shifted back to council and building society to sort out.

    I gather that if things are cleared up and the property offers a viable income again then in you step and avail your right of beneficial interest and yopu become a private landlord again.

    Maybe run that by the QC Cliftonville landlords. Maybe you can shaft TDC if they get too pushy on this.

  12. Retired, what a fund of incredibly boring information you are. I know you have been asked this many times before but why don't you put all this on your own blog and stop cluttering up everyone elses.

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  16. Actually for once Retired, thank you. We are private landlords - only one (inherited) house and have had trouble in the past with antisocial tenants damaging and stealing our property. Will check out this Landlords Association