The government’s decision to review how selective licensing is used across the private rental sector in order to find out how well it is working has been warmly welcomed by ARLA Propertymark.
Speaking on behalf of the professional body for letting agents, David Cox, the organisation’s chief executive, insisted that “licencing doesn’t work”, adding that “it never has done”.
Cox described the government’s aims as “laudable”, insisting that “we’re all striving for the same end goal of improving the private rental sector for consumers”, but he firmly believes that the licensing policies are “impractical”.
He commented: “Licencing means councils spend all their time administering schemes, rather than enforcing against rogue, criminal landlords – a fact which has been proven time and time again over the last decade. Implementing standards for minimum bedroom sizes means small, cheap bedrooms will be taken off the market at a time when there’s an acute housing shortage.
“This will increase costs for other tenants living in the property, and means those who need or want these small, cheap bedrooms will be left without anywhere to live.”
Cox believes that yesterday’s announcement, coupled with the gradual removal of mortgage interest relief, new energy standards for landlords, and the ever-increasing fees for these schemes, means landlords “are being hit from every side”.
He added: “At a time when the government is concerned with rising rent costs, all its policies are just increasing costs for landlords, fostering a private rented sector where financial burdens due to ever-changing legislations will keep rising.”