Minister for private renting sector welcomes relationship with the RLA
The Minister for the private renting sector, Heather Wheeler MP, said that she welcomes the close working relationship with the RLA, while she was giving evidence to the Housing, Communities and local Government Select Committee continues its inquiries into the Private Renting Sector, and the draft Tenant Fees Ban Bill.
During the evidence session, Ms Wheeler also said that she would welcome an alternative to licensing.
Harrow MP Bob Blackman questioned Heather Wheeler on this issue, and said that given that associations such as the RLA have in the past been critical of licensing schemes, would she be willing to consider an alternative.
Ms Wheeler said that she would be happy to do this.
The RLA does not believe that licencing is the best solution to tackle the issue of criminal landlords. This is because it believes that the system allows for criminal landlords to continue to operate ‘below the surface’, while good, law abiding landlords have to pay for often expensive licenses.
As an alternative to licensing, the RLA is proposing a dedicated Housing Court, that would be modeled on the first tier tribunal. This was a concept that RLA Policy Director David Smith explained in January when he appeared in front of MPs at a Select Committee, giving evidence on a range of issues affecting the PRS.
Other people that were giving evidence at the select committee last week included representatives of professional bodies covering environmental health and trading standards, the Chartered Institute of Housing and council representatives responsible for enforcement.
Written by Victoria Barker