Agenda and draft minutes

Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 6th November 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, City Hall

Contact: Ben Culling - 01522 873387 

Items
No. Item

16.

Confirmation of Minutes - 28 August 2018 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 28 August 2018 be confirmed.

17.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

18.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Minutes:

The Terms of Reference for the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee were noted.

19.

Introduction from the Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Bob Bushell, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, introduced members to the meeting which, as part of scrutiny review into the local impact of welfare reform, would be focussing on housing supply in Lincoln, particularly private sector rented accommodation, housing development, houses in multiple occupation and public sector housing supply.

20.

Housing Supply - Intelligence from Key Witnesses

a)    John Stewart – Residential Landlord Association

·         Private Sector Housing Supply

 

b)    Kieron Manning – Planning Manager

·         Development of Housing

 

c)    Simon Colburn – Assistant Director for Health and Environmental Services

·         Upcoming Changes Re: HMO’s

 

d)    Andrew McNeil – Assistant Director for Housing Investment and Strategy

·         Public Sector Housing Supply

 

Minutes:

John Stewart, Policy Manager, Residential Landlord Association

 

John Stewart of the Residential Landlord Association provided the Committee with a presentation which provided the following information in relation to the private rented sector:

 

·         recent changes impacting the private rented sector included:

-       mortgage interest relief restrictions;

-       stamp duty land tax surcharge, with second properties incurring a 3% increase in stamp duty;

-       higher rate of capital gains tax;

-       removal of wear and tear allowance for furnished properties;

-       removal of landlords energy saving allowance;

-       bank of England prudential regulation authority guidelines.

·         further to the undertaking of a survey with landlords by the Residential Landlord Association, landlords had provided the following responses:

-       70% said changes had reduced profitability;

-       69% said changes discouraged investment;

-       67% would increase rents;

-       63% said tax incentives could deliver longer tenancies;

-       15% had sold at least one property in the last year;

-       7% had already switched one property to a short term let, or holiday let.

·         a growing number of people in the private rented sector were in receipt of housing benefit. Recent changes to welfare reform impacting this were:

-       the local housing allowance cap and freeze;

-       ‘bedroom tax’;

-       extension of shared accommodation rate;

-       introduction of Universal Credit;

-       direct payments;

-       introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

·         further to the undertaking of a survey with landlords by the Residential Landlord Association, landlords had provided the following responses:

-       62% were unwilling to let to tenants on Universal Credit;

-       28% had evicted a tenant on Universal Credit in the last year, 77% of which were for rent arrears;

-       61% of tenants were in arrears in 2018, with 38% in arrears in 2017 and 27% in arrears in 2016;

-       average arrears in 2018 were £2,300 compared to £1,600 in 2017.

·         changes in regulations included:

-       the Deregulation Act and possession process reforms;

-       deposit protection;

-       minimum energy efficiency standards;

-       smoke and carbon monoxide detectors;

-       annual gas safety checks and certificates to tenants prior to occupation;

-       right to rent checks;

-       the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations;

-       the Housing and Planning Act – civil penalties, rent repayment order extension, rogue landlord register and banning orders.

·         the following points were noted in respect of the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards:

-       the minimum standard was an EPC rating of E;

-       as of April 2018 new and renewed tenancies must meet standards or have an exemption in place, with all tenancies required to meet this standard by 2020;

-       the estimate of average cost to the landlord ranged from £1,500 to £7,500;

-       an EPC survey was also necessary and would cost between £30 and £100;

-       penalties included a fine of up to £4,000 for letting a property not adhering to these standards, a fine of up to £2,000 for failing to comply with a notice or a fine of £1,000 for the submission of false  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Debate and Next Steps

Minutes:

Given the significant amount of information provided at this meeting, together with the questions raised by members and responses provided, it was agreed that debate and next steps would be deferred.

22.

Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Work Programme for the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee was noted.

 

It was agreed that an additional meeting of the Committee would be held on 18 December 2018 following the Government’s announcement that Citizens’ Advice had been appointed to administer Universal Credit. Representatives of Citizens’ Advice would therefore be invited to attend that meeting.