Croydon Council Tenant's Tax
26/09/2014 09:28:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley
I attended The National Landlords Association (NLA) meeting at Hampton by Hilton yesterday. The Association invited Croydon Borough Council to a meeting to justify proposals that could increase rents and diminish the availability of housing in the area. The Cabinet Member or any representative of the Labour Group was nowhere to be seen to answer questions.
The council began consulting on proposals to extend its property licensing scheme to all private rented homes in the borough. Currently only landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) require a license to let in Croydon.
If agreed, the measures would see all landlords in Croydon required to obtain a license to let out property. The changes, which could increase the cost of renting by £500 - £1000 per property, will deter investment in housing in the area and be transferred on to tenants as higher rents.
Croydon Borough Council’s proposal will also make landlords responsible for controlling visitors to their properties as well as managing anti-social behaviour of tenants, which the NLA argues is unfair and unworkable.
The NLA invited the council to address landlords and tenants at a meeting to discuss the proposals on 25th September, but the council has yet to respond. Local Croydon Member of Parliament, Gavin Barwell, who backs the campaign against the scheme spoke out against the proposals at the meeting, as did Cllr Dudley Mead who had responsibility for this function previously, They urged landlords and tenants in Croydon to put a stop to the proposals:
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out what will happen if this scheme goes ahead - landlords will simply pass the additional cost on to their tenants. It is a classic Labour stealth tax that is predicted to raise over £4.5 million for the council, lifted straight from the pockets of hardworking residents.
“Introducing a stealth tax, which will lead to some of the most vulnerable people in society facing even higher rents, is beneath contempt.”
Gavin Dick, NLA Policy Officer, agrees that the proposals amount to little more than a tax on renters:
“These proposals will simply mean higher rents as the increased costs will be passed through to tenants in the area. The changes would also make investing in properties in Croydon a less attractive prospect for landlords and will only serve to decrease the availability of affordable housing.
“There is clearly a strong desire to push through these proposals but Croydon Borough Council has yet to respond to our invitation to justify the proposals, and has done little to make landlords or tenants aware that the consultation is live.
“The NLA’s meeting discussed how the people of Croydon can influence the decision and have their say in order to stop the council’s costly proposals.”
Landlords and tenants can also keep up-to-date with all licensing news by following the NLA on Twitter - @nationalandlord.