LANDLORD ‘MISLEAD TENANTS OVER ILLEGAL FLAT CONVERSION’ / ‘LANDLORDS NOT SIGNING UP TO MAYOR’S SCHEME’ – LABOUR / GOVERNMENT’S RIGHT TO BUY POLICY BLIND TO WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LONDON – TESSA JOWELL / £25,000 RENTAL FOR ET POURQUOI PAS?
LANDLORD ‘MISLEAD TENANTS OVER ILLEGAL FLAT CONVERSION’
A landlord failed to provide his tenants with adequate living conditions, a court hearing has been told.
The landlord and his company had been letting out a property in Maxted Road, SE15 despite breaching both planning laws and unfair trading regulations, said Southwark council in a statement.
“The ground floor property had been illegally converted into two self containing flats which provided cramped living space for his tenants.
“The case follows a joint investigation by Southwark council’s trading standards and planning enforcement teams, and will see the landlord sentenced at Croydon magistrates court at a later date. “The council has also made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“The district judge found the landlord and his company guilty of ‘misleading omissions’ when he entered into one tenancy and renewed another. “These omissions are an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
“The defendant was also found guilty of an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for ignoring the council’s warning to return the two flats back into one unit.”
The maximum penalty for breaching the unfair trading regulations is £5,000 per offence in the Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.
Southwark’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Richard Livingstone said: “The landlord profited from the plight of his tenants who were forced to live in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.
“Landlords have a duty of care that they must take seriously. “Those who choose to ignore these legal requirements can expect to face legal action and where possible, we will push to recover any financial benefits of their crimes.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
‘LANDLORDS NOT SIGNING UP TO MAYOR’S SCHEME’ – LABOUR
A year after the launch of the Mayor’s flagship London Rental Standard only 14,139 of London’s 300,000 private landlords have signed up.
Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesman Tom Copley said: “When he launched the scheme the Mayor said he would have 100,000 landlords signed up by May this year. “At this rate it will take over 100 years before the Mayor fulfills his promise.”
A London Assembly Labour party statement said: “In 2012 Boris Johnson pledged that he would sign up 100,000 of London’s private sector landlords to a new London Rental Standard (LRS).
“The scheme, which was eventually launched in May 2014, sets minimum standards for landlords and amalgamated the various voluntary landlord accreditation schemes in the capital.
“Soon after the LRS was launched in May 2014 the Mayor reported that there were 13,512 landlords already signed up to the various accreditation schemes. “Since then, according to the latest available City Hall figures, only 627 additional landlords have signed up despite an intensive publicity campaign.”
Mr Copley, a Londonwide assembly member, said the figures showed Boris Johnson’s system of voluntary self-regulation was “failing private renters”.
“We need real change in the private rented sector. “Londoners need the peace of mind and security of longer tenancy agreements, caps on rent increases and an end to no fault evictions.
“Instead Boris Johnson’s soft touch and self-regulatory approach is leaving private renters with little protection from bad landlords.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
GOVERNMENT’S RIGHT TO BUY POLICY BLIND TO WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LONDON – TESSA JOWELL
Tessa Jowell has strongly criticised the Government’s plan to extend right-to-buy to housing association tenants which was announced in the Queen’s Speech.
Writing for the New Statesman online the former Dulwich and West Norwood MP says: “As rents and house prices continue to rise and the supply of housing fails to come anywhere near demand, Londoners worry about how they can continue to live and work in the city they love.
They recognise that we are facing a serious homes crisis. “And they understand that it’s a crisis we must tackle urgently if we are going to save everything that makes London great.
“That is what makes the Government’s right-to-buy extension, announced in the Queen’s Speech, so upsetting.
“It is a policy which is blind to what is happening in London. “Indeed, it is a policy which appears almost designed to make London’s homes crisis even worse.
“This policy would drain our city of affordable housing and make it even harder than it already is for Londoners to find somewhere to live. “It would tear our city apart.”
“The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said selling off councils’ most valuable property would create ‘clearer divisions between areas where richer and poorer households are located’.
” In London this is a particular problem, with zones 1 and 2 threatening to become a millionaires’ playground – a no-go zone for the nurses, teachers and council workers on which our city relies.”
“The last thing Londoners need right now is this government’s ill-designed plan to sell off our housing.
“It will lead to fewer homes for social rent and higher prices in the private rented sector.
“It will help empty inner London of everyone but the very richest. “And it will put vast numbers of currently affordable homes into the hands of private landlords. “In other words, it will make our homes crisis much, much worse.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
£25,000 RENTAL FOR ET POURQUOI PAS?
ANNUAL RENTAL OF £25,000 is being asked for the former Et Pourquoi Pas? clothing agency premises on Westow Street.
Agenmts Eaton Green say the premises are situated in a prominent position on Westow Street between Westow Hill (A212) and Church Road (A214).
“Neigbouring occupiers include Sainsburys Superstore, Paddy Power, The Post Office, Blackbird Bakery, as well as a vibrant selection of independent and local traders.
“Westow Hill is also in very close proximity with occupiers such as William Hill, Caffé Nero, Iceland, Cheque Centre, (since closed – Ed.) Domino’s, Pound Stretcher, Barclays, Morleys, Londis and Ladbrokes.
“The immediate area is mainly densely populated with residential properties and offices.
“Crystal Palace mainline railway and Overground and Gypsy Hill stations are both approximately 1/3 mile away, providing services into central London.
“There are also various buses serving the area located on Westow Street and Westow Hill.”