Croydon Conservatives - A Croydon to be proud of
Home
News & Local Issues
Videos Videos
In Touch Newsletters
Parliaments & GLA 
Ward Teams 
Boundary Review 2018 
Croydon Central
Croydon South
Croydon North
Conservative Future
National Site
Get Involved
Petitions 
Privacy Policy & Cookies 
 
 The Sanderstead Blog
 
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard
 

The not-so-selective licensing scheme
27/09/2014 08:24:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

On Thursday I attended a Public Meeting at the Hilton in Dingwall Road organised by the National Landlords Association, along with a number of other Conservative councillors, to discuss Labour's proposal to license landlords. Sadly there were no Labour councillors there to defend their proposal, as neither the cabinet member responsible (Alison Butler), nor her deputy, nor any other member of the Labour group was apparently free to attend. Around 100 people were present including many landlords and tenants, who will be a victim of Labour's planned tenant tax. 

There was a rational discussion about the likely impact of the interestingly named 'Selective Licencing Scheme'.  Of course, it's not selective - every private landlord in Croydon will have to pay £200 per property per year and the council would like the whole lot up front for a five year period.  These licensing schemes are allowed in law, although the law (as the name suggests) was intended to allow selective schemes which only applied in two circumstances: that there was evidence linking crime or anti-social behaviour to a specific area with many private rented properties or where there is low demand for private rented accommodation (plainly not the case in Croydon).

The law also requires that the fee charged can only be used to fund the administration of the scheme. That's why many of the 70 boroughs who have introduced the scheme (of which 69 are Labour-controlled) are charging in the order of £50 per year (which is sufficiently modest for most landlords to probably not seek to pass on to tenants). At £200, Croydon's charge will be amongst the most expensive in the country - so either the council is the least efficient borough or they are blatantly profiteering!

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. Lest we be accused of scaremongering, the Council admits this, though the admission is buried 19 pages into its report (“tenants may...be impacted by an increase in their housing costs as landlords seek to pass on some or all of the costs of licensing through higher rent levels”). At a national level, the Labour Party is arguing for the re-introduction of controls to stop rents increasing (a policy which, like many of Ed Miliband’s ideas, is superficially attractive, but which evidence from around the world shows would inevitably lead to fewer homes to rent and therefore higher rents in the medium term), but locally Croydon Labour Party is pursuing a policy which it admits will increase rents.

So why is our Labour Council doing this?

Well, it gives two reasons.

First, it says it wants to reduce flytipping and other forms of anti-social behaviour - a laudable aim. It claims that these problems are “commonly associated with poorly managed, overcrowded and low quality private rented accommodation”. Even if this is true, it would suggest that the Council should be doing something about poorly managed, overcrowded and low quality private rented accommodation, not taxing the whole sector. And it is very difficult to judge from the Council’s report whether it is true - little evidence is provided and what is said undermines rather than supports this claim (for example, the report says the private rented sector in the borough is growing rapidly but most forms of anti-social behaviour are declining and it also includes data which suggests that there is little correlation between the size of the private rented sector in different parts of the borough and the levels of anti-social behaviour in those areas).

Second, the Council says it wants to improve the quality of the housing in the private rented sector - another laudable aim. But again, the evidence in its report, both from within Croydon and from other London boroughs that have introduced Selective Licensing, suggests that most properties in the sector are in a reasonable state of repair. There are over 30,000 households in Croydon living in private rented accommodation: last year, the Council received 1,371 complaints (some households probably made multiple complaints so the number of properties complained about is probably lower than that, but set against that there are undoubtedly some tenants who don’t complain because their landlord makes it clear that they will evict them if they do). The London Borough of Newham has introduced Selective Licensing and registered 20,500 landlords, but has so far only banned 18, prosecuted 243 and cautioned 136.

In other words, all the evidence suggests that it is a minority of landlords that are causing the problem, not the whole sector. So why is our Labour Council taxing all landlords right across the borough (a tax which law-abiding landlords will pay but those causing the problems will try to avoid), rather than using powers it already has to take action against those landlords who are not maintaining and managing their properties properly?

Answer: because this tax is predicted to raise over £4.5 million, much of which will fund enforcement action the Council is already taking. It is a classic Labour stealth tax, in this case targeted at the people who are least able to pay (private sector rental tenants).

If you want to increase Council spending, you should have the honesty to make the case for higher Council Tax bills. To introduce a tax on landlords which you know is going to lead to some of the most vulnerable people in society facing even higher rents is beneath contempt.

Interstingly, it transpires that the Government is currently consulting on whether it should stop councils from introducing borough-wide Selective Licensing schemes. It is surprising to say the least that the Council's report made no mention of this.

You can read the Government's consultation paper here (pages 17-18) but this is the key section:

"A major drawback of licensing is that it impacts on all landlords and places additional burdens on reputable landlords who are already fully compliant with their obligations....The majority of landlords provide a good service and the Government does not want to impose unnecessary additional costs on them or tenants who may see their rents rise as landlord costs rise...The Government does not support the use of licensing across an entire local authority area. Such an approach is disproportionate...we believe that it goes against the policy intention of the original legislation (Housing Act 2004) which was designed to tackle problems in specific and strictly defined parts of a local authority area."

 
Return to Sanderstead's main page
 
 Other Blog Posts
 

Hamsey Green Pond - Early Morning Meeting
21/06/2018 10:32:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I met with Meike Weiser and Verena Trend at Croydon Council to discuss the improvements to Hamsey Green pond.  The pond is in a terrible state with parrot weed now covering the whole of the surface of the pond and vegetation overtaking the entire surround.  The pond needs de-silting which is a major operation and there would need to be a clear plan to dispose of the huge amount of silt and evasive plant form.  The pond is extremely deep and the work that needs to take place would probably be beyond the remit of The Conservation Volunteers.  Meike and Verena very kindly are putting together a plan to instigate work at this site.

 


 

Heathhurst Road/Mayfield Road Footpath
21/06/2018 10:14:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A number of residents raised concerns about overhanging foliage from neighbouring properties over the foothpath between Mayfield Road and Heathhurst Road.  I am pleased to say that a Neighbourhood Safety Officer has visited the location and spoken to both the residents of the properties where the problem vegetation is located.  Both agreed to cut back the trees/shrubs, one has complied already.  

 


 

Hear Me Speak - Sanderstead Residents' Association
20/06/2018 21:56:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was pleased to attend the Hear Me Speak 2018 primary school competition which was organised by the SRA at St. Peters' Primary School.  Four schools competed, Greenvale, Gresham, Hamsey Green and St Peters for the coveted trophy.  Each school provided a three member team presenting on interesting topics such as gender neutrality, the impact of video gaming, shortening of school holidays and dieting and body image.  It was an extremely close contest with all participants performing well but it was Greenvale Primary School that won first prize.  It was an honour to present the certificates and prizes as a past Mayor of Croydon.  Well done to the brilliant children and everyone involved and a thank you to the Sanderstead Residents' Association for organising the event.

 


 

20mph Road Markings - Purley Downs Road
20/06/2018 13:33:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

In a previous blog I highlighted some of the problems on Purley Downs Road since the introduction of the 20mph zone.  A number of drivers are speeding and overtaking law-abiding citizens attempting to drive at the now required 20mph.  I took this up with the council and the cabinet member and a number of 20mph markings have been painted on the road to assist.  I hope that drivers adhere to the limit and it helps address the issue of any possible collisions or accidents.

 


 

Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team - Change of Email
19/06/2018 21:27:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Your Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) is a group of Met police officers dedicated to serving our community. The team is made up of officers based in the area supported by additional officers from the wider area. They work closely with local authorities, community leaders and residents to decide the policing priorities for the area. This helps them find useful, long-term solutions to local problems, while maintaining our wider focus on reducing crime across London. 

As of today Sanderstead LPT has a new email address: 

ZD-SNTSanderstead@met.police.uk

Please use this to contact the team. The old email address is no longer in operation and will bounce back if you try to use.

Do pass on this information to your contacts.

PCSO Sam Brooks 7381 ZD

Sanderstead SNT| Addington Police station | Addington Village Road | Croydon | CR0 5AQ

Telephone: 0208 721 2470
Email: ZD-SNTSanderstead@met.police.uk
Follow us on Twitter @MPSSanderstead 
Follow us on FaceBook www.facebook.com/MPSSanderstead

 


 

Grass Cutting and Green Space Management
18/06/2018 11:03:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

In general I would say that the new contractor  has made a good job of the verges and green spaces that have been cut.  It is a difficult task to maintain the banks of Sanderstead Hill and a good attempt has been made in ensuring that the bank has not been cut too short or "scraped" as it was before. However, there have been issues with the maintenance of Sanderstead roundabout, in particular the shrubs and beds have not had any attention this season.  Many hedges are out of control and dead plants and weeds seem to be the star attraction rather than the beautiful plants that should be in full bloom.  There are also problems on our border with Tandridge.  This is also tricky and gets missed as one side of the pavement and verges is in our area and the other side in Surrey.  A poor attempt has been made to cut the grass at the junction of Wentworth Way and Tithe Pit Shaw Lane but clumps of long grass have been left around the posts.  I have asked the council to instruct the contractor to return with his strimmer to tidy up the grass area at our boundary and to ensure that the beds on the roundabout are maintained.

 


 

Sanderstead Pond - Rat Infestation
18/06/2018 10:39:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

A number of residents have alerted me to the problem of rats running along the pathways around Sanderstead pond.  The water and foliage and tasty morsals from ducks that are being fed is a natural habitat and ideal breeding place.   However, there are just too many now  around the pond scaring the residents and small children.  Some rat boxes are to be installed to help with this infestation.

 

 


 

Kings Wood - Friends Signs
16/06/2018 20:00:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Finally the signs marking the entrance to Kings Wood at four locations have been installed.  These were requested by The Friends of King's Wood to encourage people to visit the beautiful ancient woodland.  This beauty spot can be accessed from a number of locations along the Limpsfield Road and finger post signs will also be put up on five lampposts highlighting the access points.  The signs were funded by the local councillors and the Sanderstead Residents' Association.

 


 

Eid - Sanderstead Recreation Ground
15/06/2018 12:17:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Muslims around the world gathered to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival marking the end of Ramadan.

The Eid-al-Fitr is one of only two major festivals in the Islamic faith and sees Muslims hold mass prayers and give money to the poor and needy.

Translated from Arabic it means 'the feast of the breaking of the fast'. The festival signals an end to the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

The festival began at moonrise last night and can continue for up to three days, during which Muslims greet each other by saying Eid Mubarak.

'Eid' means 'celebration' and 'mubarak' means 'blessed', so the saying can be translated as 'have a blessed holiday.  We were pleased to have our own gathering of prayers in Sanderstead Recreation Ground.  Cllr Tim Pollard and I were able to meet members of the muslim community alongside our Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team.

 

 


 

Sanderstead Care Centre - Previously Wells Place
14/06/2018 07:38:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Residents may have noticed a number of changes to the care home formerly known as Wells Place. The Prime Care Group has acquired the care home.

Prime Care own and operate two other nursing homes in Croydon and also operate another outside of Croydon. They acquired Sanderstead Care Centre from the Victoria Nursing Group who withdrew from the London market completely earlier this year.  Prime Care are making changes to the environment and as such have started significant building work. This led to them self-imposing an embargo to ensure that they had space in which to make the relevant improvements. The home is not a purpose built care home and  the building is undergoing some modernisation for a contemporary care environment to be achieved.

 


 

See older blog posts

 

 
 
 Read our newsletter
Download our latest newsletter:
Local Election Special April 2018
 
 Contact Us
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.
020 8660 0491
 
 Older Blog Posts
12/06/2018
Footpath 145 Between Heathhurst Road and Mayfield Road
24/05/2018
McCarthy & Stone - Limpsfield Road
24/05/2018
Green Waste - Missed Collections
16/05/2018
Sanderstead Memorial Hall - Appeal for Committee Members
16/05/2018
Roadworks at the bottom of Sanderstead Hill - delays possible
11/05/2018
Sanderstead Residents' Association AGM
10/05/2018
10 Clyde Avenue, Sanderstead - Application Withdrawn
10/05/2018
Automatic Number Plate Recognition Visors
10/05/2018
Sanderstead Councillors Elected - Thank You
27/04/2018
Potholes
24/04/2018
Sanderstead Court Avenue one-way
18/04/2018
Addington Road - Sapling Finally Planted
16/04/2018
Large Street Tree in Lower Barn Road
16/04/2018
Public Footpath 142 - Purley Oaks Road - Sanderstead Road
13/04/2018
Joy Gadsby 3 January 1928 - 14 March 2018
12/04/2018
Sanderstead Ward Crime Prevention Day - 21st April
12/04/2018
Caravan on Mitchley Avenue/Dunmail Drive field
09/04/2018
Hamsey Green Pond - Refuse and Neglect
03/04/2018
All Saints’ Church Graveyard in Sanderstead
30/03/2018
King's Wood Paths & Signs
30/03/2018
Ken's Auto's Site - Development Well Underway
25/03/2018
Scouts Go Green Thanks to Local Sanderstead Councillors
14/03/2018
Update on Fiveways
13/03/2018
Cherry Blossom Tree Dies in Purley Oaks Road
03/03/2018
Application for 48 Mitchley Hill withdrawn
02/03/2018
Temporary stay of execution on 105-7 Purley Downs Road
19/02/2018
Noisy drain cover at Waitrose traffic lights fixed
12/02/2018
Wentworth Way closure
09/02/2018
Spineless council backs developers again
09/02/2018
Westfield Avenue – road name plate being replaced
 
 
 
 
© Copyright Croydon Conservatives 2000 - 2018