The recommendation for a national register of landlords in the government’s review of selective licensing published today would prove ‘unnecessary’ and ‘costly’, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The association, which represents more than 35,000 landlords, fears that the proposed national register of landlords would add another bureaucratic layer to a private rented sectors that is already laden with administration.
John Stewart, policy manager for the RLA, commented: “Ministers have repeatedly made clear that a national register of landlords would become an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy.
“We agree. All it would become is a list of good landlords which brings us no closer to finding the crooks that operate under the radar.”
Smith believes that selective licensing has become a replacement for lost central government funding and provides no assurances to tenants about the quality of accommodation.
He added: “Properties do not need to be inspected before a landlord is given a licence and the RLA has found that many councils are charging eye-watering sums of money for almost nothing in return.
“Local authorities need the will and the resources to put real effort into finding the criminal landlords who never come forward to make themselves known.
“That means using a range of information they can already access including council tax returns, information on tenancy deposits and benefit data to root out the minority of landlords who bring the sector into disrepute.”