Whilst landlords insurance is a priority for most property owners who let to tenants, problems have got so bad in parts of Southend, that tough measures are being introduced.
These include a stricter landlords licensing scheme. And it’s all because of rogue landlords who are in charge of rundown flats and bedsits. It is these type of landlords who pay little heed to things like landlords insurance and bring the sector into disrepute.
In the Southend areas of York Road, and surrounding streets in the Milton and Kursaal wards, the Council reckon that there are a large number of poorly managed flats and bedsits – and not owned by people with landlords house insurance schemes high on their personal agendas.
And the Tory Council has announced its intention to crack down on these rogue landlords. There will be stricter changes to the licensing scheme, including payments to hold one. Then there will be what the council call a number of ‘selective licensing’ powers which means that the local authorities will have the powers to regulate, and oversee, those bedsits and rented share homes with three, or more tenants.
The council hopes that such measures will stimulate more owners to think about the wider responsibilities of good letting management, including adequate landlords property insurance cover.
At a cabinet meeting of the Council, the councillor responsible for housing in the area, Anna Waite who represents the Conservatives in the borough of St Luke’s, said:
“If we get it right, it will bring lots of benefits to the area. At the moment, it’s limited to parts of Kursaal and Milton but if we get it right, we can move it on. The more support we have for this, the more likely it is to be successful.”
The Council Chief Executive Rob Tinlin admitted that the Government had advised that the stricter licensing code should be introduced on a pilot basis initially, to gauge reactions from the public, landlords and tenants. He said:
“Concerns have been raised that need to be regulated through licensing.
There needs to be a consultation with local residents and businesses. We would like to introduce this no later than the summer of 2011.”
The move from the councillors comes after a number of tenants complained about the behaviour of their landlords. The Council realised there was a problem and decided to take firm action to stop matters getting out of hand. It realised that much of the low end rental sector is effectively unregulated and open to abuse from rogue landlords.
Southend Council will hope that such a scheme will bring a greater sense of responsibility from its landlords. It will also no doubt that many more will seek protection from properly conceived landlords insurance policies.