Sunday 17 August 2014

Proposed Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme stigmatises the poor and could lead to evictions

The Brent Council Executive on August 26th will be asked to approve a Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme in the private rented sector LINK  covering Harlesden, Wembley Central and Willesden Green wards. The charge to landlords will be £350 for the 5 year licensing period.

Here Scott Bartle of Brent Green Party gives a personal view on the proposals:

I thoroughly disagree with Brent Council’s proposed  Selective Landlord Licensing  Scheme. The basic premise is that selective licensing will reduce anti-social behaviour as opposed to the version Brighton and Hove Council LINK wishes to introduce which suggests that selective licensing will help tenants with rogue landlords.

Brent Council state that selective licensing will affect people from the lowest socio-economic demographics living in the lowest cost accommodation.

They are therefore in effect disparaging an entire group of people as trouble makers and are stigmatising people. 

In Reference Section 7 (pg 55) of the responses they acknowledge that the examples they used as 'anti-social behaviour' are covered by existing laws and that selective licensing will not have any impact.

In Reference Section 9 (page 56) it states that:
The council full accepts that tenants rather than landlords are responsible for anti-social behaviour.
References 7 & 9 clearly go against the core premise for introduction of this scheme. In Reference Section 15 the council acknowledges that due to austerity they have resource constraints and will have difficulty implementing the policy.

After reading the rest of the responses I'm convinced that this is part of the gentrification / social cleansing agenda and also a way to get money from people that will not be subject to the garden tax. They even state on the Equalities Impact section (pg117) that landlords could choose to withdraw from the sector leading to evictions with the risk  particularly pronounced for the people that this policy is specifically targeting


Unknown said...

You have to wonder why the focus of this policy is on 'anti-social behaviour of tenants' as opposed to the 'rogue landlords' that Cllr Butt stated he wished to tackle in an undated post on the Brent Labour site. (

It might be that Brent Labour consider it convenient to go after the people that are the least likely to have the means to fight back. This would be both financially and politically as according to a recent report to Brent Council tenants in private rented accommodation are the least likely to be on the electoral register. For further info please see The Scrutiny Committee 6 August 2014 Report from Assistant Chief Executive For Information Proposed Scope for Scrutiny Task Group on Promoting Electoral Engagement. (

Brent Labour already has already seen a 1/3 increase in homelessness in the borough
( - Yet potentially could sign up to a policy that its own equalities impact indicates could increase homelessness further.

So much for the Manifesto / Contract Pledges of "Better Homes" or "Better care for vulnerable residents" or "Better backing to get through tough times" as they seek to further marginalise, marginalised members of our community.

Scott Bartle

Unknown said...

A great article in the paper today entitled:
"Whose fault is poverty? The election blame game is on
In claiming there are half a million problem families, the government is discrediting those who need help while ignoring the causes"

This policy by Brent Labour is a prime example of this premise.

Zoe Williams goes on to say that
"only poor people are weighed and measured by how much they cost the country."

I hope that the councillors think about that whilst they hear how this policy stigmatizes the poor whilst ignoring the causes of the issues.

Unknown said...

It gets worse: Today in the Brent and Kilburn Times:

"Brent Council has admitted keeping homeless families in B&B accommodation for longer than allowed fuelling fears of a housing crisis in the borough.

Brent Council has admitted keeping homeless families in B&B accommodation for longer than allowed fuelling fears of a housing crisis in the borough.

The town hall has highlighted its own failings in a report blaming a surge on applications for social housing in the borough.

The current rules state families with children, or with pregnant women – should not placed in B&Bs for longer than six weeks unless no alternative accommodation is available.

However, the town hall is currently breaching this order, with cases on the rise according to a report by the council’s strategic director of regeneration and growth."

Anonymous said...

Has anyone at Brent council offered any explanation as to what my £350.00 will be spent on?
It seems to me to be just another form of stealth tax.