James Duddridge MP has criticised plans to hit landlords with a £700 charge for every property they rent out in Southend.
The MP for Rochford and Southend East, branded Southend Borough Council’s landlord licencing scheme proposal as a “tax on good landlords”.
The idea will be discussed at Cabinet this week.
Commenting, James said:
“Southend Borough Council already has the powers to tackle rogue landlords, and I am afraid this proposal is just a tax on the town’s good landlords. It will disincentivise new landlords from coming to the marketplace and give a reason for existing landlords to get out of the sector.
“This will lead to a reduction in the number of properties available to rent in Southend and in turn push up rent prices for residents. I am sure the Council’s intentions are good, but this proposal will just drive the very behaviours they are hoping to avoid.”
Tenants unable to resolve an issue with their landlord can contact Southend Borough Council's Private Sector Housing Team, who can serve legal notices requiring any necessary work to improve or make the property safe.