Landlords have been reassured that there’s no national licensing scheme in the pipeline after the government again rebuffed proposals made by various housing groups and think-tanks.
In answer to a parliamentary written question from Charlotte Nichols MP about whether private landlords could expect a new framework, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said there were no current plans for a centrally based scheme.
He told her: “The Government is committed to delivering a private rented sector that works for everyone and balances the needs of landlords and tenants.”
He added that it was working with local authorities to raise standards in the private rented sector. “Local authorities must license Houses in Multiple Occupation where five or more people from two or more households share facilities.
“Local authorities also have the power to license different types of privately rented properties through additional licensing or selective licensing schemes.”
The National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed confirmation that there won’t be a national scheme.
A spokesperson tells LandlordZONE that licensing simply imposes costs on good landlords while bad landlords continue to operate under the radar.
“What is needed is greater resources for councils to enforce the wide range of powers they already have, using the large volume of data available to them to identify landlords of rented properties,” he says.
Housing groups often quote the Rugg report from 2018, which suggests that all property let for residential purposes should be required to provide an MoT-style licence or certificate.
The Evolving Private Rented Sector: Its Contribution and Potential report suggested that if adopted, it wouldn’t be legal to let a property without this document, which would integrate electrical, gas safety and energy efficiency requirements, as well as assessments for a basic minimum standard for habitation check.