‘How councils deal with private sector landlords is the next Post Office scandal’ – claim

Des Taylor

The way private landlords are treated by councils will be exposed as the ‘the next Post Office scandal’ it’s been claimed.

Des Taylor, a director of Landlord Licensing & Defence, a company that helps landlords comply with regulations and defend themselves against council actions, said that tenants are treated in a substandard way by local housing authorities, and yet nothing is done about it.

Instead, he believes that councils are guilty of severe maladministration, excessive enforcement and unfair licensing conditions against private sector landlords.

Taylor highlights that many local authorities fail to implement repairs and deal with anti-social behaviour for their own housing stock, while imposing criminal liability on landlords in the private sector for matters beyond their control.

He said: “Councils are the next Post Office scandal – the makings are all there.

“Tenants are human beings who deserve decent living conditions, but they are let down by councils who make nonsense PR statements about learnings and not meeting their own high standards, when they are found guilty by the Housing Ombudsman for severe maladministration.”

He points to the recent £18,800 compensation order from the Housing Ombudsman for Waltham Forest Council failings in three different cases, where the council closed a file on a tenant’s desperate repair request and did not do the repair for 11 months, despite the property having severe issues of mould and damp.

He commented: “It is disgraceful that they would ignore a tenant’s plea for help and not do the repair.

“In the private rented sector, a landlord would be hounded by enforcement operatives from the council, have Abatement Notices, Improvement Notices imposed upon them, and face serious trouble and legal action if they did not act promptly or dared to challenge the council’s demands, even if they were incorrect.”

He also accused councils of subcontracting tasks to firms that misadvise landlords and tenants, and of imposing licence conditions that are entrapment and unfair.

Taylor continued: “One of the council advisors asked a landlord if he would consider letting the tenant sublet, which would make a HMO, even though the area is both Article 4 (Planning Restricted) and a HMO Additional Licensing area, which would entrap the landlord if he had unwittingly agreed.

“Of course, they work for a landlord adversary, tenant loving company.”

He added: “Waltham Forest is a very regulated borough with Selective Licensing across the borough, with licence conditions that impose on licence holders the responsibility for ensuring compliance with its conditions at all times, and the criminal liability for anti-social behaviour, which the council and the police have proven themselves incapable of controlling.

“The council are not held to any standard and a Public Enquiry into this must happen for this and all local housing associations.”

He said that there are 10,000s of landlords who have been punished far more for far less serious matters, and that this will continue until the Public Enquiry takes place.

Mr Taylor said: “These articles show that the CEOs of these authorities are asleep at the wheel and incompetent, and at the same time the council staff in another department can punish private sector landlords who do the best they can, and spout lies and misinformation about landlords in the private rented sector, this is scandalous.

“How councils deal with Private Sector Landlords is the next Post Office scandal, and they will be exposed and held accountable for their actions.”



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  1. ILoveTurnips

    I believe the same applies to the way judges treat landlords. They request further court dates because they want evidence of tenancy deposit certificate when even a tenant confirms a deposit wasn’t taken. How can a landlord provide what doesn’t exist?

    They request evidence of paperwork that doesn’t exist because the tenancy was signed prior to that paperwork being required. The list of court delays goes on and on. Judge’s who make unreasonable, even impossible requests in favour of tenants some who deliberately play the system.

    Landlords can have one delay after another causing them major financial stress for their family, bearing in mind that there are a lot of landlords who only own one rental property.

    If you have the label “landlord” it has become normal for authorities to treat you with disdain even if your just trying to scrape a living for your children like everyone else. Yes, there are bad landlords but most are honest, hard working decent people.

    If you have the label “tenant” you are considered an angel and can do no wrong even if you don’t pay your rent for months, trash property that doesn’t belong to you and cause antisocial behaviour for your neighbours. A errant tenant seems to become like a dependent toddler. For some strange reason the behaviour of a grown adult called a “tenant” is now the responsibility of a “landlord” according to some licensing scheme’s even when they are causing antisocial behaviour not in the landlords property.

    A landlord (one grown adult) can now be fined up to £30,000 or sent to prison because they can’t control the behaviour of a tenant (another grown adult). How on the earth did this become legal?

    Like you say, it’ll turn into another scandal caused by government policies where they give power to people (councils/judges) who are incapable of setting reasonable scheme rules or adhering to the law.

    1. MickRoberts

      Yes, all these actions, the judge thinks he’s helping the tenant, but he’s making it worse for the next 1000 tenants and making thousands more homeless as we pack up.
      IF IF IF we didn’t protect the deposit, does that warrant us not getting the property back for a year with zero rent in? Punishment doesn’t fit the crime. This hurts the next tenant.

  2. MickRoberts

    Well said Des


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