Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Tackling criminal landlords and cracking down on anti-social behaviour are at the heart of Haringey Council's proposals to license private rented properties.

As part of the consultation that finishes on the 5th March, residents are being invited to give their views on plans to roll out two licensing schemes:

  • A Haringey-wide licensing scheme covering all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and

  • A targeted scheme for all privately rented homes in parts of the borough with the biggest problems.

Under the proposals, landlords covered by the schemes would be required to keep their properties safe and well maintained and deal with any problems associated with their tenants such as fly-tipping, untidy gardens and other anti-social behaviour. If landlords fail to meet the standards set out in their licence then the council can take enforcement action.

This link has more information and the questionnaire to fill in - the council especially wants to hear from landlords and tenants who rent privately.


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The Land Registry will show who owns the property but not whether the current occupier is the owner or not. Licencing will involve a lot of knocking on doors and possible non co-operation or honesty from the residents who may be asked for their ID's or residential status. If the occupants are tenants they should not be encouraged to give out details of their landlord to a stranger. Council Tax, which is paid by Landlords between tenancies, could be an indication of ownership as an alternative residential address is given as well as 'second home' status given to the property. However, this is rather random and when tenants are long term the landlord would not be paying the Council Tax perhaps for years. 

Agreed Osbawn but this should and could be done already without extra costs to landlords, including those who maintain their properties well and do not need a licence at present. 

Housing benefit is paid directly to tenants now. This was not a good move, as with rising poverty (along with problems with getting benefits quickly - even before Universal Credit kicks in with its 6 week wait for any money) it is tempting for tenants to use it to buy food rather than pay their rent. 

Yeah, yeah, council tax payers should pay for it. Yeah yeah, you get your money for nothing and your supervision for free.

OMG! People are eating rather than paying their rent! Unbelievable! Evict the scum before they eat you out of house and home.

Yes they should, but also I should not have to pay more tax to administer a landlord register in the borough.

The money they "blew" and were widely pilloried for was from a riot regeneration fund, not from our council taxes.

John my point is that it is deplorable that people have to make the choice between eating and paying their rent. It is a hard choice for landlords regarding non payment of rent. I have lost almost a year's rent due to a tenant just deciding not to pay and having to go through the court process to evict him, which is long and expensive, notwithstanding the loss of rent while I am paying a mortgage on the flat. We take on all the risk and all the consequences, along with a lot of stick as a result of other landlords not fulfilling their moral and legal obligations. 

Not sure what you mean when you say 'you get your money for nothing.' If you were one of my tenants you would be impressed with the service and comfort I provide. I could make a lot more money by providing a lot less but I believe in treating people with respect. It is a shame that some rogue landlords give us all a bad name and you should not tar us all with the same brush. 

I pay Council Tax for services in the London Borough where I live as do my tenants for services in the boroughs where their flats are and when the flats are empty I pay those too. This is to provide 'supervision' as you say for a good standard of street maintenance and rubbish removal. If this is flouted then the culprits should be found and prosecuted whether they are landlords, tenants or general home owners.

The local authority already has a system to deal with this, along with noise control and other issues with noisy neighbours etc. Incidentally if one of my tenants was breaking the tenancy agreement by being too noisy or abusive to neighbours, unless they were apprehended by the police, it would still be the same long court process for me to evict them. If they were the home owners it would be even harder to move them on. The law moves slowly to evict tenants who break their contracts, for any kind of reason. 

There are tenants who continually flout the law and cause aggravation to their neighbours and landlords, just like home owners may do. It's not always the landlords who are in the wrong. 

Osbawn, the difference for Homes for Haringey tenants is

- they have more protection in their conditions of tenancy

- they can and do form tenant associations

- the have representation on the Homes for Haringey management board

- they have access to the organisation's complants system

- they can take up unresolved issues with the local government ombudsman

and perhaps most importantly, they know who their landlord is.

I presume that you had insurance to cover the non-payment of rent so I'm not sympathetic. In fact I'm going to say that you're holding that very relevant fact back.

As for there being tenants that continually flout the law, I dispute that too. Have you ever tried to rent a flat? They want to know everything remotely relevant about you. Most importantly they contact your employer who is asked (with your permission of course) to disclose your income. There are agencies that do this and I assure you that if the tenant is even remotely unverifiable as good for the rent, they will not give you the certificate that you need to insure them.

The cost of enforcement of good behaviour by tenants towards the communities that they live in is currently borne entirely by council tax payments. It's about time landlord's contributed from their not insignificant income towards this.

Sadly correct Osbawn.  The protection scheme is used by good landlords, the couldn’t give a toss ones prefer to hang on to the deposit for spurious reasons

It is a legal regulation that we send our tenants the 'How to Rent' booklet issued by the government. This shows tenants exactly what their landlord should be doing, including registering the deposit. All my tenants are very knowledgeable of their rights, which is a good thing. Tenants need to be more aware of what the landlord is supposed to be doing, so that they can avoid dodgy ones and hopefully then more landlords will step into line in order to be able to rent their properties. Perhaps Haringey can spend some money to promote and advertise what tenants should expect of their landlords. This is particularly relevant now that more and more people are renting. 

Osbawn - absolutely. There's an area which needs attention...but they self-regulate, so I doubt it. 

As an interesting sidebar to this - how would the Council identify landlords ?

Some years ago I had a friend who was effectively homeless, sleeping on different couches every night. She needed a permanent address for bank and income-tax correspondence so I let her use my address solely for that purpose. She did not live here and I did not charge any kind of rent.

It was not long before the Council wrote to me asking if correspondence for anybody else was being sent to my address and challenging my claim for single occupancy. She was not claiming any benefits so what made the Council think she was living here ? Do they have access to bank and HMRC records ?



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