Let Croydon Council know what you think about their plans to license all private landlords, which will simply lead to higher rents
Croydon Council are asking for views on their plans to introduce ‘selective licensing’ of private landlords.
Despite the name, there is nothing selective about what they are proposing - every private landlord in the borough would have to pay £200 a year to the Council for each property they rent out.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out what will happen if this scheme goes ahead: landlords who make the payment will simply pass the cost on to their tenants. It’s effectively a tenant tax. I’ve blogged about this previously so I won’t go over old ground but suffice to say it is incredible that when the Labour Party nationally is arguing that rents in the private sector are too high, their local councillors should be pursuing a policy which even they admit is likely to increase rents.
The Council says it wants to introduce selective licensing to crack down on landlords who don’t keep their properties in a good condition and/or refuse to tackle anti-social behaviour by their tenants. But it is only a minority of landlords who behave in this way. What justification is there for penalising all landlords for the behaviour of an irresponsible minority? And of course the bad landlords who are already breaking various laws simply won’t pay this tax – it will only hit decent, law-abiding landlords.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the reason the Council is pursuing this policy is to raise money (it predicts it will raise over £4.5 million). It’s a classic Labour stealth tax - they hope that tenants will blame their landlords not the Council for the increase in their rent.
The consultation runs until 12th December. You can give your views online at www.croydon.gov.uk/betterplacetorent. A consultation event will also be held at the Conference Centre in Surrey Street from 6pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 27 November. if you’d like to attend, please register at http://www.m-e-l.co.uk/croydon.aspx as numbers are limited. Please let the Council know what you think of this daft idea - if enough people do, hopefully we can convince them to change their minds.