Proposal to make it easy for more councils to introduce letting licences
A new report from the London Housing Commission recommending that government should give borough councils the power to create their own landlord licensing schemes. The goal is to route out criminal landlords but the Residential Landlords Association argues that such schemes are a waste of time and money since criminal landlords who cause misery for tenants never make themselves known.
“We all want to see criminal landlords rooted out of the sector but making licensing easier for councils is not the answer. No criminal landlord ever makes them self known willingly. Licensing only increases the time councils spend administering the scheme when they could instead be devoting those resources to finding criminal landlords” says RLA chairman Alan Ward.
“We welcome the focus that the Commission has on boosting the supply of homes to rent. Ultimately it is only by tackling the housing shortage that high rents can be addressed. It is vital though that any moves to increase the supply of rental housing recognises that the vast majority of landlords are, and will continue to be, individuals rather than big corporate bodies” says Ward.
Many councils such as Croydon, Liverpool, Newham, Waltham Forest and parts of Bristol already have implemented Landlord letting licence schemes with failure to register resulting in hefty fines. Ministers have also previously dubbed licensing schemes as a “tenants’ tax”.