Landlords appear to get an easy ride in Charnwood
WE HAVE been trying for some time to get Charnwood Borough Council to license landlords and have a register of their properties.
There are legal duties for the council to enforce and as usual, landlords appear to be getting an easy ride in Charnwood.
Houses when advertised for sale or rent, should show the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Yet some landlords, or their agents, do not do this in Loughborough. The council could be fining them £4000 for each breach.
From this April landlords can no longer rent houses with an energy rating of F or G. Yet, when I looked on the Rightmove website I found several being adver- tised for next academic year, including one house for eight students that is rated F.
Rented houses with three stories have had to be registered as ‘larger HiMOs’ since 6 April, 2006.
On the council web site it says, ‘Registration is Mandatory’. Yet we recently found two, 3-storey unregistered houses, where the landlord wanted to extend to take even more students, the council kindly gave one a certificate and the extension on the other has been allowed even though it is in an area with 50 per cent studentlet houses!
There are landlords who live overseas. As these landlords are absentee, how can the council ensure that they fulfil the require- ments of a ‘fit and proper landlord’?
From this April it will be unlawful for an adult to sleep in a single room less than 6.51 square metres and for a couple in one less than 10.22sm. Will students be paying for a third room or even a double room that does not meet the standard? How will the council be ensuring that houses are properly described?
Why is the council allowing planning applications without proper dimensions on plans? Who will be responsible when a too small bedroom is given unlawful planning permission?
If I were a council tenant stuck with the bedroom tax I would be getting out my tape-measure. When the bedroom tax was brought in the law said it was for the council or housing authority to decide what constituted a bedroom. Now we have a new law.
We think the council needs landlord licensing scheme, that covers all the above and more. Similar to the compulsory schemes found in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where landlords are also responsible for the anti-social behaviour of their tenants. Nicholas Ball correspondence secretary Nanpantan Ward Residents’ Group