Landlord Licensing:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow housing secretary John Healey have unveiled election plans to clamp down further on buy-to-let landlords as the centre piece of their ‘consumer rights revolution’.

Under the proposals, every private landlord would be required to pay an annual licence fee to their local council if Labour wins the election, the party has said. Failure to abide by the licensing rules, enforced by local councils, would trigger fines of up to £100,000.

Although some local authorities already licence their landlords under what are known as mandatory (HMOs), additional and selective licensing schemes, the majority of buy-to-let landlords throughout the country are not covered by any sort of licensing and do not have to pay an annual fee for each property they let out.

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Tories have long argued that blanket licensing of landlords is ineffective and basically a tax on tenants, as most of the cost of the annual fees are passed on to tenants in the form of increased rents.

Labour say they want to require all privately rented homes to meet minimum standards. But the Tories argue that these minimum standards already exist, it is up to the local authorities concerned to properly enforce them, and that many of schemes are just money raising opportunities for councils.

Conservative Housing Minister Gavin Barwell, has called the Croydon Council scheme in his own constituency, which as charging £750 a time for the licences, a “tenant tax”.

Labour’s proposals include requirements for safe wiring and appliances, freedom from damp and vermin infestation, ‘appropriate’ water and sewage facilities, appropriate facilities for preparing and cooking food, and general good repair.

Mr Healey has said:

“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have basic consumer rights that we take for granted in other areas.

“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer. As a result, too many are forced to put up with unacceptable, unfit and downright dangerous housing.”

Hitting back for the Tories, Mr Barwell said:

“This is just another misjudged and nonsensical Jeremy Corbyn idea: a town hall ‘tenants’ tax’ that would hit every tenant in the pocket with higher rents.

“We want to help people have good quality housing, which is why we have taken targeted action against the small minority of rogue landlords, without hitting every single home with expensive municipal red tape that will force up costs and reduce supply.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. As an HMO landlord I still welcome these minimum standards being enforced. Ensuring them helps tenants, and helps landlords who already provide good standard accommodation and have rents dragged down by substandard competition.

  2. Please sign our petition against selective licensing . ( some streets to be licensed for odd numbers but not even numbers , fly Tipping more outside zone than in !!).
    50 council flats empty in one block for several years ,300 yards away ,but no licensing required in that area but 3 long term empties for PRS in proposed zone and 12 social housing !!

    Google “Selective Licencing Telford ” and find the link – stop selected licensing.

    Thank you .

  3. Corbyn is retarded in his grasp of real life. How on earth he thinks putting extra costs onto every landlord will improve housing stock is beyond comprehension.
    As mentioned in the article, swift & decisive action must be taken against landlords that do not provide decent homes. Rogue landlords won’t register themselves with the council and will continue to let poor housing!

  4. We already have this in Wales. While I agree that some landlords are slum landlords and should not have the right to let properties. I am an estate agent who also lets properties and have already seen landlords selling up because of the way the local authorities are crucifying the easy targets rather than concentrating on the worst ones. We have no lets available in our town and hence the rents will go up when new ones become available to cover the new costs of licencing and stamp duty. Fewer purchases of buy to lets are made because of that.

  5. Corbyn will never get ellected so it will never happen, get the slum landlords out of business by encouraging tenants to complain if their accommodation is not fit for purpose, and fine the landlords at the level Corbyn is suggesting

  6. Lol.
    What a lieing lunatic.

    Has anyone actually read all the landlord license rules? They’re crazy! It’s all about giving fines and taking your property from you. Beware.

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