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Property Portal could be deathknell for big selective licencing schemes, says MP

clive betts property portal nrla conference

The mandatory national Property Portal for landlords to be introduced by the Renters (Reform) Bill next year will stop the spread of borough-wide selective licencing schemes, a leading MP has claimed.

These are schemes that include all types of rented property except HMOs and, like the ones recently announced in Liverpool, Warwick, Southwark and Nottingham, cover most or all of the city, town or borough in question.

These schemes are controversial because, as many of the campaigning groups such as EMPO have pointed out, they sweep up both good and bad landlords into the same net.

Speaking at today’s NRLA Conference in Birmingham Clive Betts (main picture), who is chair of the committee that scrutinises the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ activities, made the comments in answer to a question from the floor by a landlord, who wanted to know if the Portal would ‘negate the need for licencing’.

Betts told the 1,000+ people attending the conference that it would probably mean that fewer requests to operate blanket licencing schemes would be submitted by local authorities.

“We don’t know exactly what will happen in practice, but it’s likely that there will be fewer request to operate blanket schemes."

“But I think there will still be requests to operate or renew the kind of local schemes in areas where it’s felt that a more pro-active enforcement of selective licencing would be beneficial.

“Most local authorities haven’t done blanket selective schemes but rather opted for more targeted schemes where they have found bad housing conditions.”

As LandlordZONE reported exclusively in August, the number of selective and HMO additional licensing schemes launched this year has already equalled last year’s total as councils come under pressure to tackle private rental housing standards.

Thirty-two schemes have been launched so far this year – matching 2022 – according to geospatial technology company Kamma, which predicted that England could see another 10 before the end of the year, or 31% higher than last year.

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