Great Yarmouth Borough Council (Highly) Selective Licensing.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council(GYBC) had stated they planned to introduce Selective Licensing(SL) to address primarily, the issues of Anti Social Behaviour and defective property conditions. They hired a Selective Licencing Officer to undertake the quest. He was seconded for a year - but if the boy done good, a more permanent gig would be the outcome. A consultation was held as is the law. Not many people appear to have known about this consultation. GYBC held some meetings, had some leaflets available and published an article in the local paper. I don't know any tenants who received the leaflets. They did look very smart though.
The report conclusion suggested that as the majority of returns to the consultation came from Landlords, who understandably were opposed these were removed from the findings. The results did not come back the way GYBC wanted them so they removed them.
The council were offered a proposal of an alternative such as is run in Southend (SEAL) by landlords in Great Yarmouth. The Council members travelled down the night before staying in B&B. GY landlords travelled down for the meetings that day (it's not far). GYBC then said it was an informal proposal and anyway was not suitable.
GYBC made much that the NLA is backing this scheme and how mighty they are. The NLA as far as I am aware has not spoken to local landlords. The NLA will not answer my question when I ask how many members they have in GY. GYBC also commented how the Local Landlords Association and the Residential Landlords Association broadly submitted the same comments which were drafted by the RLA. This would appear to imply that both associations copied each other so their objections mean less? The report did not mention that the legality had been questioned. It did not address any of these concerns. I think some of the concerns would appear similar because both Associations are professonal enough to see whats wrong with the whole cunning plan. Not because they have copied each other.
The whole 196 page report makes for very sorry reading and uses some very underhand tactics.
The next part to the sorry tale. I attended the GYBC full council meeting. The poor councillors appeared to suffer from severe confusion that evening.
The subject before SL was HMO mandatory licensing. When the next item of SL was discussed each got up (bar one) and discussed how terrible HMO conditions are and they need licencing. Their only concern was the rents going up for the poor tenants. (It did say in their leaflet for Tenants that increased rental income was going to be one of the benefits for Landlords.) One Councillor got quite tearful talking about the good old days of the 1970's when the HMO's used to be B&Bs. A local landlord was also accused of emailing threats - he dared to question apparently!!! He didn't know his place. One Councillor stood up and pointed out that what they were discussing was not SL but Mandatory HMO Licensing and something completely different. He got shouted down. He was wrong! They voted in SL based on how they perceive HMO's and the state of Bed and Breakfasts.
The lack of knowledge and understanding on what they were voting for was hilarious if it had not had such serious consequences.
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