Wednesday 26th June 2019

Selective Licensing Review will fail to ‘root out the bad landlords’

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has slammed the government’s Selective Licensing Review for failing to listen to landlords.

The report, which was released yesterday, failed to take into consideration the NLA’s suggestion of requiring local authorities to conduct an annual assessment to demonstrate the effectiveness of the schemes against the rationale for their introduction.

Currently, although it is considered best practice to complete this assessment, few local authorities do so.

The NLA says that it supports the proposal for standardised requirements for property conditions, which local authorities can enforce against. But the recommendations fail to include anything to close the loopholes which currently allow those who fail the ‘fit and proper’ person test to continue operating in other areas or through a letting agent.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented: “Far too often we see local authorities failing to live up to their side of selective licensing. It’s shameful that the Review has ignored our call for regular reporting against schemes’ published objectives, which would be easy to implement and would actually hold councils to account. 

“The majority of selective licensing schemes are introduced without any thought having been given to their implementation, funding and enforcement, leading to good landlords paying for effectively nothing. For the most part, selective licensing has failed to root out the bad landlords and the recommendations in the report will do very little to change that.

“The suggestion to introduce a national registration of landlords and a property MOT would be a viable alternative to selective licensing, but would need to be well thought out and proportionate to avoid an unnecessary burden on good landlords.” 

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