Hastings and St Leonards landlords claim the Selective Licensing Scheme scheme will not sift out rogue landlords or address anti-social behaviour and will only penalise good landlords.
A spokesperson for Hastings and St Leonards Landlords (HSLL) said Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) misled the public during the public consultation and the council’s claim that selective licensing will help rid the town of rogue landlords is also misleading, adding: “What have HBC been doing for tenants in the private rented sector for the past 20 years? Having to license landlords and properties proves that the council have not been robust in dealing with rogue landlords or improving standards in the Private Rented Sector.
“Selective licensing will penalise good landlords by making them pay for a license for every property they rent so that they can continue to do their job – whilst giving them no new powers to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB).”
“We have reports of drug dealers and persistent offenders of ASB being issued notice to leave by landlords but receiving advice from HBC and Brighton Housing Trust to stay in their property until evicted by bailiffs!”
“Rogue landlords will ignore the scheme just as they have the additional House of Multiple Occupation licensing scheme which HBC claim has been a success - over 2000 properties originally identified as needing a license, yet 3.5 years later less than 600 have been licensed leaving 1400 unlicensed and potentially unsafe – only one landlord has been prosecuted for not licensing a property despite HBC receiving funding in excess 200k from central government to help deal with rogue landlords, this can hardly be described as a success and the same will happen with selective licensing (SL).”
The HSLL spokesman said a vital element of HBC’s anti-social claim was not disclosed. “The public were misled during the SL consultation – claims by HBC that selective licensing should be brought in because the private rented sector was to blame for ASB have been disproved.
“The consultation document did not disclose that the original ASB statistics report from safer communities and the police concluded that ‘privately rented dwellings have the smallest impact on ASB in an area’.”