Hitting the ‘honest landlords’
There are many tenants who are thankful their landlord has, by investing his money, provided them with a decent home.
Now, our council is considering penalising both the landlord and his tenant for getting along. This, the councillors say, is due to the rogue landlords who work outside the law and that the easiest way to punish them is to punish all landlords.
There are regulations already in place, as well as the Landlord and Tenant Acts, to take care of the situation. They do, however, need implementing.
How much easier it is for an incompetent body to create a new licensing scheme that will punish all those tenants and their landlords who live amicably within the law. It will not affect the rogues who, being smarter than the average councillor, will eventually find ways round the licence scheme and stay in business.
And if the honest landlords do give up the struggle and sell up (they have just been hit with new taxes), is the council prepared to provide accommodation for the dispossessed tenants they have created?
If some councillors, no names, gave as much thought into what they are proposing as they do to filling out their expense claim forms, we might be better governed.
Build more houses
Going by the three letters in the Citizen (April 20), we must all feel sorry for the hard-pressed landlord. Under John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and now David Cameron, buy-to-let landlords have had a very good run, accruing tens of thousands of pounds in capital gains in addition to rapidly rising rental income.
However, good old ‘conservative’ George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has put an end to all that with his changes to tax rules on rental properties as outlined in his recent budget.
The economics of buy-to-let don’t work any more. Hence why the National Landlords Association have forecast more than 500,000 buy-to-let properties will be put up for sale over the next year.
It is only a matter of time before the do-gooding politicians will be complaining about the ‘blood-sucking’ landlord and the growth of slum landlordism again.
With the Labour Party proposing to re-introduce rent controls and rent control officers, 2016 is definitely not a time to be a landlord.
Now is the time for Fenland District Council to put an end to buy-to-let landlordism in Fenland for good by pledging to build 1,000 new council houses per year over a five-year period.
In the 1950s Wisbech Borough Council and March and District Urban Council did precisely that. It’s time to build council houses again.
trade union bill
MPs must listen
Earlier this year I wrote about the outrageous attack on democracy contained in the Trade Union Bill, calling on the Government to drop their unfair proposals.
The House of Lords has debated the Bill, and the Government were defeated three times over on key parts. Peers have sent a clear message that the Government has got it wrong and should think again.
Even with the Lords’ improvements, the Trade Union Bill remains both an attack on democracy, loading the dice in the Tories’ favour, and an attack on working people’s voice at work, changing the balance of power in the workplace.
Now the Bill heads back to the Commons, it is over to our Members of Parliament once again. I urge them to listen to the House of Lords, and vote to keep their amendments in place. And I can only hope the Government takes the opportunity, before it is too late, to drop the whole sorry mess.
depot work praise
I congratulate Knowles Transport for the purchase and investment put into the former BRS branch at Cromwell Road, Wisbech.
I spent a number of years as general manager at the branch when it was owned by National Freight Co and traded as British Road Services.
I am delighted the site has been purchased by a local company. It now looks like a state of the art warehouse and distribution centre and blends well with the other new business generated in Cromwell Road.
I wish Knowles Transport all the very best. Their new attractive site has become the showpiece of the industry.
Retired general manager, BRS Cromwell Road.