I applaud Michael Plumbe’s letter, August 19, on the Selective Licensing Scheme which is based on the council’s concept of a ‘strong presumption’ in favour of:
A. Reducing antisocial behaviour.
B. Decent Homes Standard
C. Property Management
The first is a Police matter who have power to close premises resulting in a lose by both tenant and landlord. Landlords do not have powers of arrest etc... Landlords are expected to offer tenancies, ‘without let or hindrance’ to coin a legal term.
The second, which is a variable subjective concept, has long been the responsibility of the Environmental Health department to correct errors at the behest of tenants.
Property management. If the council were good at this, they would build and manage good affordable rented accommodation to compete on an open market to attract tenant away from the private sector – the bad private rented property would self-destruct.
The renown Hastings architect Henry Ward designed many citizens’ dwellings in 1893 with balcony gardens etc, which is brilliant example of municipal housing.
Oh, I forgot to mention, I tried to register a property under the scheme.
This service requires a quadrennial fee. I offered to pay by cheque, which was rejected. I offered to pay by legal tender, which was rejected. They even suggest I got a friend to pay, to conform to their system.
The punch line, after passing through many hoops, was to give of my bank details, which can form part of the package that Hastings Borough Council gift or sell to others.
Three days later I received a phone call from a ‘scammer’ who offered to cut my phone bill by nearly half for the same bank details.
To reuse the phrase from the council’s legislation I have a very ‘strong presumption’ against giving away my bank details.
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