Land­lords ap­pear to get an easy ride in Charn­wood

Loughborough Echo - - LETTERS -

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

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