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Landlord leader backs selective scheme 'crackdown' by council

right to rent

A landlord leader has backed Southend-on-Sea Council’s crackdown on failing private rented homes.

In an unusual admission, South Essex Alliance of Landlords secretary, Judith Codarin, says the number of problem properties investigated as part of the city’s selective licensing scheme proves the authority is doing its job properly.

Introduced two years ago, the scheme in selected roads in Kursaal, Milton, Chalkwell and Victoria wards with “significant and persistent problems” caused by antisocial behaviour, crime and poor living conditions, has found 324 homes with significant hazards during 614 visits.

Council officers discovered damp and mould in 116 properties, 48 were excessively cold and seven homes contained carbon monoxide and other fuel combustion products.

Overcrowded

Four were overcrowded, 11 had poor hygiene, pests and refuse, while 15 properties were open to entry by intruders. Alarmingly, 14 were identified as being at risk of structural collapse.

Codarin told the Yellow Advertiser she welcomed the scheme’s progress and that the £735 fee has been manageable and taken in two parts which helped enormously.

Council officers are attending their landlord meetings, she adds. “They took notice of what experienced landlords said at meetings. It was us reasonable landlords saying we the easy targets, we’re going to do our best anyway, just go for the bad ones. It’s not an indication that all landlords are bad, it’s an indication they are going for the right ones. These results I would say are pretty good - they’ve really gone for the naughty ones.”

The council has sent 240 non-compliance letters and served formal notices including eight civil penalty notices, four improvement notices and three emergency prohibition notices.

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