An independent think-tank is the latest organisation wanting landlord licensing schemes across England plus a nationa landlord register, emulating similar schemes operating in Scotland and Wales.
The Centre for Public Data - echoing a statement by the activists’ group Generation Rent - says councils that require landlords to be licensed take more than twice as much enforcement action as other authorities.
In addition, councils with licensing regimes also apparently identity more unsafe homes being rented out and resolve more of these issues with landlords.
CFPD’s recommendations include that a national register be created and made easily searchable for tenants; it also wants the register data published, and integrated with other property databases for EPCs, deposit protection and holiday accommodation.
CFPD director Anna Powell-Smith says: “In England, you have to register to run a takeaway or work as an art therapist, but anyone can be a landlord – remarkable given how dangerous it is to live in a property with faulty wiring, boilers or mould.
“A patchwork of schemes will never give renters the protection they need and are an inefficient use of council resources. A national register will be cheaper to run and more effective in raising standards.”
In the Queen’s Speech for this session of Parliament, the government promised to consider the merits of a national landlord register and a White Paper on rental reform is expected in the coming months.
Yesterday we reported that Generation Rent claims that of the English councils submitting data in 2019-20, some 32 councils which operated selective licensing schemes in that period reported finding 5,052 private rented homes with “category 1” hazards following an inspection - an average of 158 homes per council - and that 85 per cent of these were made free of hazards.
There were 200 councils without selective licensing and they reported 12,607 unsafe homes in total - 63 homes per council - resolving 65 per cent of cases.
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