Victory for buy to let as minister stops another licensing scheme

The government has rejected a council’s bid to extend its licensing scheme for privately rented housing.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has refused Brent council’s bid for a blanket extension of its existing scheme.

This follows a similar ruling last month when an application by Liverpool council to renew its citywide landlord licensing scheme was rejected.

Responding to the news, the Residential Landlords Association says such licensing schemes are ineffective and are brought in by councils who want to be seen to be doing something to tackle criminal landlords without actually doing anything to root them out.

Local authorities are also accused by the RLA of using licensing schemes as a cash machine.

John Stewart, the association’s policy manager, says: “We all want to see bad landlords driven out of the sector. However, licensing is not the answer. All it does is identify the good landlords who register and then tax them. They do nothing to flush out the criminals who stay under the radar.

“Instead, councils should use the wealth of data they can already access to find landlords and target resources to properly enforce the wide range of powers they have to deal with unsafe and sub-standard rented housing.”

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