Sunday, April 02, 2006

Get Your Property Licence or We'll 'Get' You Says Government

Is it any wonder that people don't want to rent out their properties any more? In Germany it is more common to rent a house than to buy one, yet here it's very different. Travelling up to London yesterday I was listening to Magic FM for about an hour. During that hour they played a Government advert about the need for landlords to get a new property licence. It was the sort of threatening advert that this government seem to love. "Get your licence or we'll get you" was the message. Charming. It had the subliminal effect of painting all landlords as racketeers who weren't to be trusted. Quite why they should need a licence in order to rent out property is quite beyond me. The Nanny State in action. What I'd like to know is how much this ridiculous advertising campaign is costing the taxpayer? The advert was played at least 6 times during the hour I was listening, and it's reasonable to assume that it is being played on many other radio stations throughout the country. If any MP reading this would like to put down a written question, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one interested in the answer.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I quite agree. Another excuse for the government to waste taxpayers money and employ more PR firms form the public purse. It is especially stupid when a large percentage of landlords will not need the licence in the first place:

http://www.rla.org.uk/rla.exe?input=../rla/scrp/hmo_flowchart.htm

Anonymous said...

You are bit like a one man Daily Mail at times. The licencing is for Houses in Multiple Occupation and there is broad political support for their creation as they give more power to local authorities to stop cowboy landlords and will, hopefully, save lives.

They aren't for general private renting.

Iain Dale said...

I take that as a compliment. What you say is, of course, complete bollocks. What it means is that students will find it more difficult to find cheap, affordable accommodation. I'm told these licenses can cost upwards of £1000. Either the landlord will think 'sod that for a game of soldiers', it's not worth the hassle. Or he'll stick it on the rent. Either way the student loses out. And if it is only for houses of multiple occupation then why don't the adverts make that clear?

bebopper said...

I'm reminded of the 1976 (?) Rent Act, designed by the Callaghan government to curb Rachmanism. (Peter Rachman was a Polish slum landlord who used intimidation to force out sitting tenants in properties he had bought cheaply). The Rent Act swung the balance so far in favour of tenants that nobody wanted to let rooms anymore. Before your time Iain, but up to the early seventies, you could rent a bedsitter or unfurnished flat for £4 in the West End. Happy days.

Andrew Zalotocky said...

It's not a question of why anyone should need a license to rent out property - it's just that central government bureaucracy cannot abide the thought of any activity taking place without its explicit permission.

But the law-abiding citizen is now subjected to frequent threatening messages from the state. Whether it's road tax, the property license or the propaganda tax (aka the TV license) the message is the same: pay and obey, because we know where you live.

The Conservatives should be making an issue out of this. The fact that the government sees fit to intimidate us like this (and at our expense) speaks volumes about how they see the relationship between the state and the citizen. I'm sure a lot of people must resent it, and the Conservative Party ought to oppose it on principle as well as for the political benefits.

Anonymous said...

Here Here...I am begining to question just how free we really are in this country, it seems this government thinks nothing of introducing more and more red tape and bureaucracy. As a landlord myself, i find myself constantly harrased by the inland revenue, who want to know the insides of a ducks xxxx, and treat you like a criminal even before they have all the facts. The tax inspectors are always threatening. They forget we pay for their keep!!. The case is simple this government (Whoom i have supported all my life ..and now ashamed of it) wants to raise funds and this is a way for them to squeeze a littlle more blood out from the hard working middle classes. Come On Conservatives ...Waiting for the next law thats going to cost me my hard earned (-tax+ rip of britain taxes) money ...Imran (No longer a Labour Man)