Friday, November 10, 2006

Councils in crisis with HMO backlogs

An interesting article in Inside Housing gives the not entirely unexpected news that Local Authorities are finding it difficult to cope with all the licensing applications they have received. Indeed it appears that some of them have not issued any licenses at all yet.

A survey of 10 Councils by Inside Housing showed that 6,380 applications had been received but only 348 licences had been issued. Of course 10 is a very small sample and I am sure that many councils are doing splendidly. However I expect the general view put forward, that Councils are finding it difficult to deal with the applications received, is a true one. Indeed I would be surprised if this were not the case, bearing in mind that so many applications have had to be made at the same time, and that councils are unlikely to take on extra staff to deal with it.

The sad thing is that due to the pressure of dealing with the licensing applications, staff are unable to be out there dealing with the bad landlords, none of whom will have submitted their applications.

Still it is not all doom and gloom. One day they will get over the bulge of work and be able to take stock of the situation. They will then know who is good and who is bad. And hopefully then, there will be the will and the power to deal with the bad landlords.

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