The Current Situation:
The following resolutions were adopted at the meeting of the full house of Enfield Landlords on Thursday, 15 May 2014 at The Green Towers Community Centre, 7 Plevna Road, Edmonton Green, London N9 0BU:
Resolutions Adopted By Unanimous Vote:
This resolution failed to gather any vote and as such was denied:
The house also agreed to:
Meeting Of 27 February 2014
At the meeting of the full house of Enfield Landlords on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at The Green Towers Community Centre, 7 Plevna Road, Edmonton Green, London N9 0BU, the following resolutions were proposed and adopted unanimously by the house:
1. The resolution to instruct solicitors to apply for a Judicial Review.
2. The resolution that all private landlords WILL NOT RENEW any tenancy henceforth for council tenants or housing benefit tenants until the proposal to commence licensing of private landlords in the London borough of Enfield is resolved. And even then to attach rigorous conditions if these tenants are to be accepted by private landlords in the future.
3. The resolution to set up specific ‘action committees’ that will assert the presence of private landlords in the London Borough of Enfield viz:
a. Media & public relations.
b. Membership & grassroots campaigning.
d. Evictions & Repossessions.
e. Anti-social behaviour & vetting of tenants.
f. Regulatory affairs & dealing with Enfield Council.
4. The resolution to actively campaign against the re-election of any councillor in the London Borough of Enfield that voted for the introduction of the plan to start licensing of private landlords in Enfield. Any councillor so identified, does not represent the interests of the people of Enfield and should NOT be re-elected in the upcoming council elections in May 2014.
The following resolutions were adopted by a majority vote of the house:
1. The resolution that all Enfield Landlords cease to accept new tenants from Enfield Council’s Homefinder project and new housing benefit tenants from 01 March 2014 until the proposal to commence licensing of private landlords in the London borough of Enfield is resolved.
2. The resolution to appoint specific estate agents to act on behalf of Enfield private Landlords so that void periods occurring as a result of (4) and (5) above are kept to a minimum and vacancies filled, that private Landlords be not made to suffer from empty homes as a result of standing up for their rights.
Proposal To License Private Landlords.
Enfield Council is proposing to start the licensing of private landlords within the borough and charge 5-yearly licensing fees of £575.oo per privately rented home in Enfield. Landlords will also be required to pay a deposit of £1,000.oo per property against maintenance costs or face criminal prosecution with fines of up to £20,000.oo per instance.
The proposal by Enfield Council is based on the flawed premise that privately rented homes are the key drivers of anti-social behaviour in the borough.
There is no robust evidence for this. The statistics they have used to come to this conclusion is from a retrospective cohort that did not exclude the normal biases inherent in this type of study. Significantly, their study did not show statistical significance in any of its key outcome measures. They did not conclusively show why the spate of licensing of new betting shops or the late opening hours of pubs/nightclubs in the borough does not confound their assertion.
Further the study did not separate the effect of the frustration of the residents of the many poorly maintained Council housing estates or houses and how this impacts on social cohesion. There was no allowance for how missed bin collections impact on people despite this being reported almost weekly in the local newspapers.
The effect of youth gangs in the borough of Enfield was also overlooked. Many sociologists believe that the rise in the number of youth gangs is directly linked to the cut back in community services and lack of robust social infrastructure to support families that are troubled.
We believe that the proposal by Enfield Council to license privately rented accommodation at 5-yearly fees of £575.oo is nothing but a cynical ploy to bleed hard-working families for more money. It will raise £34.5 million for the Council in fees, fines and penalties during the licence period.
It does not address the root cause of anti-social behaviour within the community. We will continue to proactively engage with the Council over this matter, but should the Council persist in its arrogance and high-handedness, then we will have no option but to robustly assert our presence.