The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said No to a plea by a south east council to renew its landlord licensing scheme.
Hastings council charged £665 per property for a licensing scheme scheduled to expire this coming October - but now MHCLG has rejected it.
The Labour authority leader, Kim Forward, is quoted in the local media as saying:“We are bitterly disappointed…[The scheme] has brought about an improvement in the conditions to rented properties and the fact that this additional protection is no longer available means it is the tenants that will suffer as a result.”
The Conservative opposition on the council, and local Tory MP Sally-Ann Hart, had opposed the licensing scheme, referring to not as outdated.
Andy Patmore, Conservative group leader on the council, is quoted as saying that there are already adequate regulatory tools for local authorities to use to regulate the private rental sector.
“New energy performance regulations (EPC) require properties to be warm and dry and meet strict health and safety requirements in terms of prevention of damp in the ambient environment” he says.
“Electrical installation legislation now requires landlords to provide completely safe wiring in accommodation. Right to Rent legislation means that tenants are treated fairly and equitably. Gas-Safe regulations require gas installations to be safe and efficient. Fire safety regulations require regular checks to fire alarms and carbon monoxide detection systems.”
The MHCLG is reported to have made its decision in May, saying the council had not put forward a sufficiently strong argument to trigger a renewal.
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