In a stunning turn of events in a private meeting, a backbench rebellion by conservative councillors has forced Fenland District Council into a humiliating climb down on being nasty to people who rent.
The proposal to licence all landlords at a cost of over £575 would have simply been passed on by the landlords to their tenants, who, let’s be frank, usually are poor people who simply can’t afford to buy which is why they rent.
This would have done nothing to stop bad landlords and would have been additional incentive for good landlords to not be active in Wisbech. Indeed, if the council where actually serious about helping tenants they would argue for a totally free market with no restrictions to entry thus ensuring full competition. Good landlords would therefore be able to outcompete the bad ones and standards would go up across the board.
Cabinet member cllr David Oliver is clearly away with the fairies if he sincerely believes licencing of rental properties would have any effect on rogue landlords who ignore the law anyway. Cllr Oliver has always struck me as a fat oaf, totally out of his depth.
So three cheers to cllrs Tierney, Hoy and others for stopping the council putting up the rent on poor people.