A licensing scheme operator is pressurising an elderly landlord couple to carry out minor repair work to their rented house despite them having problems booking workmen due to the coronavirus crisis, they have told LandlordZONE.

Joy and Frederick Bibb signed up to the Home Safe Scheme in Great Yarmouth, which is associated with the local council, paying a monthly fee to get support to meet regulations.

But they say its recent inspection report has resulted in unnecessary pressure being put on them to do work needed almost immediately.

Says Joy: “They sent us a report of repairs to do, which I agreed with, as I know it’s part of the job and we take pride in our houses and keeping tenants happy.

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“But although we’re told they’re minor, not emergency repairs, they keep demanding we do the repairs or tell us we’ll be fined.”  

Suspected Covid

She says the builder who was going to carry out the work – including mending a floorboard and adding an extra handrail on the staircase – has refused to enter the house due to a suspected case of Covid-19.

She adds: “Their instructions are very vague, and you need to be a solicitor to understand them. I’ve also had problems contacting them and they only send the same generic email back with the same instructions.”

A spokesman for the Home Safe Scheme, which also operates similar schemes in Doncaster and Lincolnshire, tells LandlordZONE: “Any advice and support we give is reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of the issues found so we do not put members ‘under unnecessary pressure to carry them out immediately’ if that is neither reasonable or proportionate.

“In terms of taking into account not being able to get workmen to come to the house, we have amended our follow-up action requirements to take account of the coronavirus but…all the Government guidance around this issue points to repairs still being able to be undertaken as long as the appropriate measures are followed.”

Read more about the Bibbs.

2 COMMENTS

  1. These are not part of the selective licensing requirements but are the HHSRS guidelines. Sadly those that opted for the easier pay monthly scheme have to comply with the membership rules of Home Safe however ludicrous they are. As far as I am aware the only people who can issue a fine are the courts as this is a membership requirement it is unlikely it would reach any kind of tribunal or prosecution. The penalty (admin charge) imposed is entirely of Home Safes making. This is a business that is making as much revenue as possible by twisting the requirements of the selective licensing designation. My advice would be resign from Home Safe and register with the Council where the law takes president.

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