Property licensing schemes and should be rolled out across all of England, creating a de-facto national registration scheme for the nation’s landlords and their properties similar to the schemes already in operation elsewhere in the UK, it has been claimed.

The non-partisan Centre for Public Data (CFPD) says councils that require landlords to be licensed take more than twice as much enforcement action as those that don’t, identity more than twice as many unsafe homes being rented out and solve a higher proportion of these cases.

Commenting on the report, lobbying group Generation Rent reckons another benefit of a national register could be increased tax revenues, since HMRC has no way to track down landlords who don’t declare rental income.

In the Queen’s Speech, the government promised to consider the merits of a national landlord register and a White Paper is expected this autumn.

Published data

CFPD’s recommendations include that the register be made easily searchable for tenants, that its data is published, and that it be integrated with other property databases for EPCs, deposit protection and holiday accommodation. 

anna powell smith property licensing

Anna Powell-Smith (pictured), Director of the CFPD, says: “In England, you have to register to run a takeaway or work as an art therapist, but anyone can be a landlord – remarkable given how dangerous it is to live in a property with faulty wiring, boilers or mould.

“A patchwork of schemes will never give renters the protection they need and are an inefficient use of council resources. A national register will be cheaper to run and more effective in raising standards.”

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, adds: “Nationwide landlord registration would give enforcement authorities valuable intelligence about this sector, make it easier to inform tenants of their rights, and prevent criminals from renting out homes in the first place.”

Read more about the proposed national landlord database.


  1. And if it does come to pass it’ll be a further excuse to gauge yet more money out of landlords who will promptly either pass it on to their tenants or leave the sector. Don’t these idiots stop for a second and see the harm being done with overregulation and compliance.

  2. Hi all.

    I’d love to know that everyone letting property was providing safe and healthy accommodation at as reasonable a rate as possible! And if that is via a national register, then let us hope that it is for the sake of improving standards like the additional licensing that has swept across the nation.

    Let us go further and have a national renters database. Renters could upload previous tenancy information, credit records and other relevant information to prove that they will pay their rent and look after the property. I hope that the landlord organisations will support this.

    • The government can introduce all the registers and red tape that it likes but at this rate there will be no landlords left to put on those registers.

      And any that are left will be able to put their rates up even more – supply v demand – to cover the additional costs.

      And as Jon Oakley says, this works both ways – let’s have a national register of tenants who’ve defaulted on rent or damaged properties.

      • Yes Sunnyland17. I’m happy to upload my safety certs, NRLA membership number, self assessment code, EPC and deposit protection on the condition that all renters have a tenants passport, i.e credit check, rent guarantor, reference checks such as employers and previous landlord feedback.

        This could all be rolled into one like ‘check a trade’. Tenants can check their landlord as can landlord check the tenant. I’m sure that someone out there is savvy enough to get this one working as an app and unlike my local council that charge £1200 per year additional licensing I’m sure this could be done for a fraction of the cost per member.

        So How about it NRLA, Gen Rent, Shelter and any other organization that has both tenant and landlords interests at heart.

        I’d be well happy to prove that my properties are safe and well maintained and that I pay my taxes and uphold the law in return for renters that pay their rent and look after the property. Happy days

        • Couldn’t be fairer could it?

          There are rogue landlords and there are rogue tenants. So if you are going to address one of these (actually are and have been for years, rabidly, to the extent that it has completely distorted the balance of the PRS and caused mass exodus of ALL landlords), then there should be the other side addressed with similar vigour (hasn’t been addressed whatsoever, and would not impact good tenants if it was).

          So if the issue on both sides was addressed FAIRLY it should have a positive outcome on both sides.

        • Your idea that disclosing the information you currently suggest should be available is a complete joke.

          It doesn’t prove that you are operating legally.

          Of course the information you suggest be made available is totally correct.

          But you have missed out the far more important information that a LL should supply.

          This is

          Prove you have CTL

          Prove you do not have DSS tenants if your lender refuses to allow letting to them.

          Prove you are letting on AST as I know of no lender that allows any other form of letting if a standard mortgage.
          Prove you have insurance appropriate for the type of tenants occupying.

          Very few LL letting out on other than AST could provide this information because they are operating fraudulently in breach of lender conditions.

          There are at least 1.5 million tenants currently letting illegally from Accidental LL.

          I’m all for a National LL register providing the correct questions are asked.

          There are millions of illegal tenancies caused by fraudster LL who are NOT complying with lender conditions.

          This is unfair competition to LL who are doing everything correctly.

          This is why Govt will never ask the correct questions for any National LL licensing scheme as it would result in mass evictions
          Calling in loans
          Mass LL bankruptcies
          Collapse in property values

          Run on the banks as their loan books decline to almost nothing in value.

          Nobody wants to know the mass fraud that LL are engaged in for all these reasons.

          So the right questions will NEVER be asked!

          • Hey Paul B.

            I wasn’t trying to draft a white paper and finalising an exhaustive list of questions and answers for this issue is way above my pay grade.

            The point that I was trying to make is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

            It maybe useful then to hear what you’d like to see on a tenants passport from my point of view. Then perhaps our representatives at the NRLA can put this to the tenants representatives and Government thinktanks.

            You can also catch me next Friday at the comedy store 😉

  3. Who monitors the councils? Croydon was recently exposed as, what they would term, a rogue landlord with appaling standards of maintenance on some of their housing stock. A council with boroughwide licensing telling the PRS what is right and wrong. It is clear this is about funding councils, the costs of which effectively fall on tenants by increased rents or rent increases as housing supply reduces as Landlord leave the market.


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