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 Selected story in full
14 September 2016
10 million tax grab delivers nothing for residents

When you look at the aims of Labour's flagship Landlord Licensing tax, you might expect that, despite the huge punitive cost to landlords, at least tenants and neighbours would be protected. Not so. Croydon's Labour Council is taxing around 27,000 landlords, the vast majority of whom provide decent, well maintained rented accommodation. The Council is raking in an estimated £9.7 million pounds from the tax and yet they are not delivering the service that was promised. This was, amongst other things, to "ensure anti-social behaviour is dealt with effectively" and "ensure tenants' health, safety and welfare are guarded". One resident who knows all too well of the shortcomings of the Licensing scheme, lives in a road in Fairfield Ward. The resident does not want to be identified for fear of further intimidation from neighbours. The resident lives next door to a house that has been subdivided into 7 micro-flats. There have been ongoing issues for years. These include loud music throughout the night, piles of rat-infested rubbish strewn across the front of the property, drug and alcohol abuse, and intimidation of neighbours. The anti-social behaviour comes from a few of the residents at the property. The other vulnerable residents in micro-flats in the property are too scared to complain. Despite the council being alerted to the issues on numerous occasions, and making visits to the property, nothing has been done. So, if the issues listed above are not bad enough for the Labour-run Council to take action, it begs the question of "how bad does it have to be before anything is done?" This is not an isolated case. There are many tenants and neighbours suffering the effects of poorly managed rented properties. Before the Landlord licensing scheme was introduced the Council had powers to protect tenants and neighbours. They didn't use them then, and now they have more powers and they are still not using them. Helen Pollard, Councillor for Fairfield Ward said "For the sake of a few rogue landlords, 27,000 good landlords are being forced to pay this unfair tax. Now that the Labour Council has collected nearly £10million in tax revenue they should be using it for the purpose intended. How can anyone trust a Council that seems more interested in raising taxes than protecting residents?"

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