LETTER: Why council’s licensing policy is wrong


I think your readers need to know the consequences of a new charge our council is proposing to bring in for private landlords.

They will have to pay for letting houses. It will be about £500 for an ordinary home and £800-or-so if a house is classed as a house of multiple occupancy. In most cases this cost will have to be passed on to tenants, so it means rents will go up without material benefit to anyone but the council.

There have to be other ways of tackling the truly awful landlords that do exist but I’m sure they will just pay up and carry on as usual. These are the landlords who charge each person a rent rather than renting the whole house, so they can make a tremendous amount, but there are also those like ourselves who let houses to small groups of people or families.

Landlords have now got to pry into the private affairs of their tenants.

Since only three unrelated people will be able to share a house, we would have to check three young men sharing a three bedroom house never invited a girlfriend to share a room.

While two hard working, but unmarried, couples who choose to share a house while saving for their own home would also be penalised.

We have had arrangements such as these in the houses we rent out and have watched with pleasure the young people work hard and prosper.

Obviously I don’t want people to be living in horrible, overcrowded houses, hot bedding and having to walk the streets if they want some privacy but I’m not certain how this measure will help. Do we want people thrown out of their homes and sleeping rough on the banks of the Witham in bigger numbers as winter comes on?

Lastly, landlords are not only expected to check their tenants are legally married but that they have the right to be in the country. Since the Government has not a clue who is here, expecting landlords to recognise a forged passport seems a bit rich.

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