Croydon Conservatives - A Croydon to be proud of
Home
News & Local Issues
Videos Videos
In Touch Newsletters
Parliaments & GLA 
Ward Teams 
Boundary Review 2018 
Croydon Central
Croydon South
Croydon North
Conservative Future
National Site
Get Involved
Petitions 
Privacy Policy & Cookies 
 
 The Sanderstead Blog
 
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard
 

The not-so-selective licensing scheme
27/09/2014 08:24:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

On Thursday I attended a Public Meeting at the Hilton in Dingwall Road organised by the National Landlords Association, along with a number of other Conservative councillors, to discuss Labour's proposal to license landlords. Sadly there were no Labour councillors there to defend their proposal, as neither the cabinet member responsible (Alison Butler), nor her deputy, nor any other member of the Labour group was apparently free to attend. Around 100 people were present including many landlords and tenants, who will be a victim of Labour's planned tenant tax. 

There was a rational discussion about the likely impact of the interestingly named 'Selective Licencing Scheme'.  Of course, it's not selective - every private landlord in Croydon will have to pay £200 per property per year and the council would like the whole lot up front for a five year period.  These licensing schemes are allowed in law, although the law (as the name suggests) was intended to allow selective schemes which only applied in two circumstances: that there was evidence linking crime or anti-social behaviour to a specific area with many private rented properties or where there is low demand for private rented accommodation (plainly not the case in Croydon).

The law also requires that the fee charged can only be used to fund the administration of the scheme. That's why many of the 70 boroughs who have introduced the scheme (of which 69 are Labour-controlled) are charging in the order of £50 per year (which is sufficiently modest for most landlords to probably not seek to pass on to tenants). At £200, Croydon's charge will be amongst the most expensive in the country - so either the council is the least efficient borough or they are blatantly profiteering!

It doesn’t take a genius to work out what will happen if this scheme goes ahead: landlords who make the payment will simply pass the cost on to their tenants. Lest we be accused of scaremongering, the Council admits this, though the admission is buried 19 pages into its report (“tenants may...be impacted by an increase in their housing costs as landlords seek to pass on some or all of the costs of licensing through higher rent levels”). At a national level, the Labour Party is arguing for the re-introduction of controls to stop rents increasing (a policy which, like many of Ed Miliband’s ideas, is superficially attractive, but which evidence from around the world shows would inevitably lead to fewer homes to rent and therefore higher rents in the medium term), but locally Croydon Labour Party is pursuing a policy which it admits will increase rents.

So why is our Labour Council doing this?

Well, it gives two reasons.

First, it says it wants to reduce flytipping and other forms of anti-social behaviour - a laudable aim. It claims that these problems are “commonly associated with poorly managed, overcrowded and low quality private rented accommodation”. Even if this is true, it would suggest that the Council should be doing something about poorly managed, overcrowded and low quality private rented accommodation, not taxing the whole sector. And it is very difficult to judge from the Council’s report whether it is true - little evidence is provided and what is said undermines rather than supports this claim (for example, the report says the private rented sector in the borough is growing rapidly but most forms of anti-social behaviour are declining and it also includes data which suggests that there is little correlation between the size of the private rented sector in different parts of the borough and the levels of anti-social behaviour in those areas).

Second, the Council says it wants to improve the quality of the housing in the private rented sector - another laudable aim. But again, the evidence in its report, both from within Croydon and from other London boroughs that have introduced Selective Licensing, suggests that most properties in the sector are in a reasonable state of repair. There are over 30,000 households in Croydon living in private rented accommodation: last year, the Council received 1,371 complaints (some households probably made multiple complaints so the number of properties complained about is probably lower than that, but set against that there are undoubtedly some tenants who don’t complain because their landlord makes it clear that they will evict them if they do). The London Borough of Newham has introduced Selective Licensing and registered 20,500 landlords, but has so far only banned 18, prosecuted 243 and cautioned 136.

In other words, all the evidence suggests that it is a minority of landlords that are causing the problem, not the whole sector. So why is our Labour Council taxing all landlords right across the borough (a tax which law-abiding landlords will pay but those causing the problems will try to avoid), rather than using powers it already has to take action against those landlords who are not maintaining and managing their properties properly?

Answer: because this tax is predicted to raise over £4.5 million, much of which will fund enforcement action the Council is already taking. It is a classic Labour stealth tax, in this case targeted at the people who are least able to pay (private sector rental tenants).

If you want to increase Council spending, you should have the honesty to make the case for higher Council Tax bills. To introduce a tax on landlords which you know is going to lead to some of the most vulnerable people in society facing even higher rents is beneath contempt.

Interstingly, it transpires that the Government is currently consulting on whether it should stop councils from introducing borough-wide Selective Licensing schemes. It is surprising to say the least that the Council's report made no mention of this.

You can read the Government's consultation paper here (pages 17-18) but this is the key section:

"A major drawback of licensing is that it impacts on all landlords and places additional burdens on reputable landlords who are already fully compliant with their obligations....The majority of landlords provide a good service and the Government does not want to impose unnecessary additional costs on them or tenants who may see their rents rise as landlord costs rise...The Government does not support the use of licensing across an entire local authority area. Such an approach is disproportionate...we believe that it goes against the policy intention of the original legislation (Housing Act 2004) which was designed to tackle problems in specific and strictly defined parts of a local authority area."

 
Return to Sanderstead's main page
 
 Other Blog Posts
 

South East Cancer Help Centre - Lunch for Volunteers
10/08/2019 08:28:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Every year the SECHC puts on a lunch to thank the many volunteers that help support the centre.  Some 80 volunteers assist with a range of activities without whom we would find it extremely difficult to exist.  The centre over the last year has been able to increase both the number of group and individual sessions provided to our members and continues to move forward with creative ideas to increase the range of in-house activities to around 40 different services on offier.  This includes our complementary outreach service provided to Croydon University Hospital to support those in the North of the borough.  To contact the centre call Lizzie our new centre manager on 0208668 0974 or email: info@sechc.org.uk

 


 

Legacy Onside Youth Zone - 125 Whitehorse Road
09/08/2019 20:04:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I met with Barnabas and Angela at the new Youth Zone to look at the facilities for young people.  For £5 annual membership and 50p per visit you have access to many activities such as indoor climbing, boxing, music studio, arts and crafts and many other sports.  The centre will be open seven days a week and will officially open on 7 September 2019.  Contact legacyyouthzone.org or call 020 3976 9990.

My only concern raised was access from South of the borough which will mean a couple of bus rides at least.

I hope everyone has fun.

 


 

Alan Brookes - Chairman Selsdon Centre for the Retired
09/08/2019 19:58:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I attended an open day event at Selsdon Centre for the Retired to meet residents and enjoy a cup of tea.  Alan Brookes, Chairman showed me around the facilities and the new freezers, two of which were purchased with the community ward budget funds by the Sanderstead Ward Councillors.  These freezers are important to the centre who stock food for many of the elderly, who rely on this service for a hot meal.  It is good that they can socialise and enjoy time together.

 


 

Sanderstead Road - Public Footpath 142 - Adjoining Purley Oaks Road
09/08/2019 19:53:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

The above public footpath between Purley Oaks Road and Sanderstead Road is overgrown with weeds and hasn't been swept for some time.  Part of the railing is broken and makes it difficult for residents to navigate the steep hill in the winter when it becomes slippery.  I have been promised by officers that the matter will be corrected and the weeds cleared and the rail restored.  Hopefully before the winter arrives - or has it already!!

 


 

Resurfacing on Rectory Park
07/08/2019 17:36:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

The ward team have today had notification of works to resurface Rectory Park. Details from the letter are pasted below.

I am writing to inform you that FMCONWAY , on behalf of Croydon Council, will shortly be commencing resurfacing at the location/s and date/s below:

Date: 22nd  to  24th     August  2019 between 20:00-05:00 

Location: Rectory Park                             

To enable the Contractor to undertake the works, on-street parking will be suspended during works hours.  We also kindly ask that with forward planning vehicular access to and from properties adjacent to the road are reduced to a minimum during the works hours. Pedestrian access will not be affected.

 

Advance driver / resident information boards will be in place before the works commence, advising of the precise dates and times of the road closure. 

Please however note that unforeseen circumstances (e.g. inclement weather conditions) may necessitate a change to the scheduled dates and information on road signs will be changed accordingly. Please check the road signs regularly for any updates

The resurfacing works will take place between  Westfield Avenue   and  Sanderstead Hill  . 

Due to the nature of these works it is inevitable that some disruption will occur. For this reason it is recommended that where possible you use alternative routes, or allow extra time to complete your journey. 

The on-street parking suspensions that will be in place within the works area are 19:30-05:00 on  22nd   to  24th    August   2019 . No parking for residents on the highway in the areas covered by the enforcement signs.

Please note that penalty charge notices (PCN’s) will be applied to vehicles parked within the suspended areas during the works hours and/or vehicles relocated. 

Due to the above we would urge all residents to ensure that their vehicles are moved from the suspended areas in order to avoid any delays to the works as well as incurring any charges.

If your vehicle is relocated please contact the LBC on 020 8726 6000 Ext 52816, who will provide you with an exact location of your vehicle. 

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this may cause residents; however we want to ensure that all works carried out on the Croydon network are to the highest standards to ensure value for our residents.

 


 

Mitchley Avenue Bench
06/08/2019 14:25:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

The Sanderstead Councillors were pleased to fund the new bench outside Mitchley Avenue doctors surgery near the bus stop from their community ward budget.  The doctors surgery had said that many patients who were elderly, frail or very unwell struggled to stand at the bus stop whilst waiting to get home after their appointments.  We hope that this place of rest will help  We also requested a new litter bin which has also been installed.

 


 

Hamsey Green Pond - Work by the Downland Volunteers
01/08/2019 15:08:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I was pleased to see that a number of improvements have been made to Hamsey Green pond. Dead trees have been cut back and much of the ground around the pond has been cleared.  Some attempt has been made to soften the banks but this has not really been successful as a concrete base forms part of the pond on one side and a rockery leads into a four foot drop on the otherside.  Due to the extensive neglect over many years it is going to take some effort to return this important place of tranquility and biodiversity into a place for young children and elderly can enjoy.  The new benches are great and I am extremely grateful for all the efforts of the Dowland Trust who have worked so hard this week.

 


 

Hamsey Green Pond -1914
31/07/2019 21:10:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

A resident sent me this photograph of Hamsey Green pond in 1914.  It has changed quite a bit with the Limpsfield Road bringing one side of the bank much further in.  As you will all know I have spent a great deal of time working with members of the council to improve the pond which has been somewhat neglected.  I am still hoping that the banks can be improved so it has an educational purpose as well as its important biodiversity and ecological aspect.

 


 

BARROWSFIELD - Planning Committee this Thursday - 1st August
30/07/2019 07:14:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale

PLEASE ATTEND - PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – THURSDAY 1st AUGUST 6.30pm

THE TOWN Hall, CROYDON CR0 1NX

Re: 18/05157/FUL – 2-5 Barrowsfield South Croydon CR2 9BZ

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 4/5 storey building comprising 33 self-contained flats (5 x one bed, 14 x two bed and 14 x three bed), vehicular access on Limpsfield Road, 26 car parking spaces (including two disabled car parking spaces), integral cycle store for 64 cycles, integral bin storage, hard and soft landscaping, boundary treatment and communal amenity space at roof level.

Thanks to everyone for all the further email correspondence advising that you have lodged your comments with the Council in relation to the amendments which were recently lodged.for this terrible scheme. (There were 495 additional sets of comments lodged).

Since then a further 19 revised documents were added to the Council website in relation to this proposal, however it appears that the Officer’s report had already been written ready for this Thursday’s Planning Committee meeting, so planning officers didn’t feel the need to re-consult any further with residents. The recommendation is to approve the application.

Cllr Tim Pollard and I have lodged a formal complaint with the Council about this.

However, as things currently stand the application is being heard this Thursday, 1st August. The meeting starts 6.30pm and it would be much appreciated if as many residents as possible could attend.

Thanking you in advance for your support.

 


 

Sanderstead Road closure at West Hill junction 403 bus diverted
24/07/2019 21:42:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

To allow for a new sewer connection to a development at Sanderstead Road / West Hill a closure of Sanderstead Road will be in place from 24th July to 02nd August. The Council will also be making the most of the opportunity and getting any other connections the site requires from Sanderstead Road completed.

Diversions will be in place and Tfl have put in place the following diversion route for the 403 bus:

Route 403 towards Warlingham: From Selsdon Road at Carlton Road, ahead Selsdon Road, ahead Upper Selsdon Road, right Addington Road, left at roundabout, 1st exit Limpsfield Road to normal line of route

Route 403 towards West Croydon: From Limpsfield Road, right at roundabout 3rd exit Addington Road, left Selsdon Road, ahead Upper Selsdon Road to normal line of route

 


 

See older blog posts

 

 
 
 Read our newsletter
Download our latest newsletter:
Local Election Special April 2018
 
 Contact Us
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.
020 8660 0491
 
 Older Blog Posts
18/07/2019
Act quickly to protect your local green spaces
18/07/2019
Barrowsfield planning application deadline tomorrow
03/07/2019
Amendments to Barrowsfield proposal received
03/07/2019
Third consecutive missed green waste collections
27/06/2019
Grass Cutting of Sanderstead Hill
27/06/2019
Sanderstead Horticultural Society - Summer Show
27/06/2019
Fallen Tree Across Mitchley Hill and Limpsfield Road
14/06/2019
Potholes in Sanderstead
07/06/2019
Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church Hall
07/06/2019
Cherry Tree Knocked Down - Purley Oaks Road
31/05/2019
Another bad planning night for Sanderstead
25/05/2019
Mature Tree on the Corner of Ewhurst Road Chopped Down
25/05/2019
Sandhurst Close - Condition of Street Cleansing and Pavements
25/05/2019
Talking to Residents in Sanderstead about Local Issues
20/05/2019
Matt Hancock Minister of State for Health and Social Care Opens New A&E in Croydon
03/05/2019
West Hill - Development and Loss of Trees
01/05/2019
Green waste bins splitting
01/05/2019
Fly tipping in Hillsmead Way
30/04/2019
Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid - Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse
30/04/2019
Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid - Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse
17/04/2019
The Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church, Onslow Gardens - 28 May 2019 - 12pm
15/04/2019
Roadworks on Addington Road
12/04/2019
Japanese Cherry Tree - Sakura - A Wave of Blossoms Across the UK
12/04/2019
Sutton Wheelie Bin - Sanderstead Road
12/04/2019
Wettern Tree Garden - Planting of Monkey Puzzle Tree in Memory of Joy Gadsby
04/04/2019
Awarding the Sanderstead Councillors Cup!
02/04/2019
Sanderstead Councillors Support Holi Event
27/03/2019
Heathhurst Road - Residents Desperate Cry For Help
26/03/2019
Dementia Friendly Screenings - Free Admission
23/03/2019
Selsdon Half Marathon in Aid of South East Cancer Help Centre
 
 
 
 
© Copyright Croydon Conservatives 2000 - 2019