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Landlords' alliance sets sights on bedsit blight
6:20am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Local News
AGROUP representing landlords is planning a bedsit task force and a “street blitz” to tackle the problem of neighbours from hell.
Members of the South East Alliance of Landlords (Seal), which was set up by landlords and agents to police privately rented accommodation in Southend, will go street-tostreet to identify problem properties over the coming months.
The body, which after its first year already represents half of all rented properties in Southend, hopes to set up a new arm to help bedsit owners meet its strict standards, within six months.
Secretary Judith Codarin said: “Wewill choose sections of streets that are troublesome.
“We will find anyone who lives there and listen to issues.
“We will try to find landlords who aren’t members, talk to them and try toget them to join.”
Seal will ask councillors to identify roads that are littered with rubbish and discarded furniture or suffer from antisocial behavior.
The body, which landlords and agents set up in a bid to avoid having to pay Southend Council for licenses to let properties, already represents the owners of almost 6,200 properties and hopes to represent 95 per cent of the rental sector within three years.
It can fine members, whose properties are identified by a sticker in the window, up to £400 if legitimate complaints from tenants or members of the public are not dealt with.
It has dealt with all but one of the 65 complaints it has received, which vary from maintenance issues to complex problems over the replacement of windows in properties with a freeholder, landlord and agent. The one outstanding issue, received last week, is expected to be dealt with in the next few days.
The self-regulation is designed to free up Southend Council to concentrate on nonmembers, but the authority only has four officers to police the more than 6,000 other rental properties in the borough, and tenants and homeowners still suffer from rogue landlords and nightmare neighbours.
Seal hopes to set up a new arm capable of helping landlords bring low-quality housing up to standard.
Chairman Martin Ransom said: “We have brought in a newmember of the board with experience in this area.
“He has worked with a specific landlord, with whom the council has had historical issues.
“He has worked with him to get him up to standard.”
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