We need more housing but NOT when it means returning to the bad old days when tenants are exploited by greedy landlords.
Picture: When there is no bed a bench outside Tesco will have to do.
Hot bedding is common place in Thornton Heath where people working in the day share beds with people doing night shifts as is sub letting.
At the last Thornton Heath Community Action Team meeting concerns were raised about how the council’s landlord licensing system is of limited use if it is not fully enforced.
The council’s selective licensing scheme, introduced in October 2015, already
has the power to fine or prosecute landlords who either run unlicensed private properties or break their licence conditions by renting out dangerous or poor-quality housing.
Barbara Lewis, local resident and former housing officer, said: “It would seem that at present the council adopt a softly softly approach to landlords who are not fulfilling their obligations – this needs to stop immediately as the majority of HMO landlords are earning maximum profits (usually from the housing benefit system) for these properties and they must be held account for their tenants and the upkeep of the property.
“The council’s Landlord Licensing Scheme was introduced to help stamp out rogue landlords operating in our borough and this is a good thing especially as the council have had some recent successful prosecutions. However the number of HMOs need to be reduced and the previous culture of Thornton Heath being known as an area where rogue landlords can operate needs to be reversed .”