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Licensing abandoned as council fears it will drive out landlords

A proposed licensing regime in Kent has been abandoned because of fears it would drive landlords away.

Medway council proposed a scheme three months ago but has now changed its mind.

Kent Online reports that the authority's deputy leader, Howard Doe, said at a virtual council meeting this week it was not the right time to press ahead.


“We all know enforcement is expensive and the council is unlikely to recover its outlay in such proceedings” he says. 

"I am also concerned that over-regulation of some landlords might put the marginal landlords off maintaining their rental properties and they will simply put them on the market and sell them off."

Councillors in the meeting were told the council did not have the resource or allocated budget to manage the enforcement, with initial start up costs expected to be £41,000. 

Labour called the U-turn “absurd.”

More than 18,000 households across the Medway Towns are in the hands of the private sector, but Kent Online claims that some rented accommodation has been described as "unsafe" and "substandard" while others are unlicensed.

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    Well done Kent council. At last a full and balanced view .

  •  G romit

    A pragmatic decision, but sadly only sounds like a temporary respite.

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    • 28 August 2020 11:11 AM

    Why don't councils come at this a different way.
    Offer accreditation to LL and a star system like for hotels.
    So tenants could see that the LL has been assessed by the Council as well as the properties
    No charge for the LL.
    Councils would then know who all the good LL are.
    Then they can pursue the bad ones.
    Most LL are good.
    So the Council could then devote enforcement action against the bad ones.


    You mean like a LL register? Hmmm, isn't this something we've been fighting against?

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    • 28 August 2020 11:31 AM

    Nope a LL register would be an excellent idea.
    It would result in millions of homeless tenants which would be great news for good LL.
    Currently there is mass fraud being perpetrated by LL which is UNFAIR competition for good LL.
    A bad LL is one who lets a property at the outset of a tenancy to a HB tenant when the lender conditions specifically prohibit such tenants.
    The LL is committing fraud.
    If the Lender found out they would probably call in the loan.
    I'm not sure but I have a suspicion that once a LL discovers a tenant receives HB that they are supposed to evict if the Lender prohibits HB tenants.
    So LL advises lender that it will take about 2 years to evict.
    Lenders says tough they are calling in the loan due to breach of mortgage conditions.
    That will affect millions of tenants!!

    How many LL don't advise insurers that HB tenants occupy.
    Again fraud as a material fact has not been disclosed.
    It could even result in a claim being declined! !

    Just think your fraudulent HB tenants that you did not advise to the insurer accidentally burn the property to the ground.
    The insurer validly denies the claim once it is discovered they were HB tenants.

    Nope a LL register would be a great ideal.
    No licence no then no letting of that property.

    Part of the licence requirements would be confirmation of insurer; lender CTL, tenant type etc.
    Just consider as well all those without CTL that are fraudulently letting their resi properties without CTL!
    Just that would result in about 1.5 million homeless.
    Which is why the PTB will never wish to have a LL register!


    Tbh I doubt very much that any lender would dare raise an objection to HB tenants these days because of the negative publicity.

    I don't agree with you on the LL register for various reasons but there we go.


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