Objections to new scheme

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Michael Plumbe, The Bourne, Hastings

You report on a ‘rogue’ landlord, fined £10,000, for failing to get a Licence to let his property (August 25).

This appears to be the first such conviction on the Selective Licensing Scheme: Councillors must be rejoicing.

The scheme is bad. First, why should I endure its strictures, expense (which must increase rents whatever starry-eyed proponents may say) and intrusion into the life of the tenant (by inspection) when a friend elsewhere in the borough does not?

Advocates of the scheme will say it must be extended to ALL let properties.

No doubt they will have their way soon enough. So let me voice my second, main, objection.

There is a judicial ‘feeling’ to the scheme so its implementation must be seen to be entirely impartial.

Sadly Party Politics play a large part in local government and the issue of ‘wicked/saintly landlord/tenant’ engenders strong feelings.

The possible risk that such politics could affect the scheme means that It should not be in the hands of elected councillors.

In the same vein, Police Commissioners should not be elected on a Party Ticket.

A third objection is that British (unlike Continental) law has a presumption of ‘innocence until proved guilty’. The underlying premise for any regulatory scheme is the reverse.

On a lighter note, I have been told to produce a ‘Portable Appliance Certificate’, whatever that is. Perhaps, if I’ve left a broom in the let premises, it needs a Certificate of Airworthiness.