The Government has confirmed it has no plans to introduce a mandatory register of private landlords, branding plans ‘an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy’.
Minister for the PRS, Heather Wheeler MP, made the comments in response to a written question by Paul Blomfield MP (Labour, Sheffield Central) asking what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits such a scheme
She said: “The Government does not support a mandatory register of private landlords.
“The majority of landlords provide decent and well managed accommodation and requiring those landlords to sign up to a national register would introduce an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy.
“Mandatory licensing is already in place for higher risk rental properties, larger houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
“We consulted extensively on changes to the scope of mandatory licensing.
“There was broad support for extending this to include all HMOs with five or more occupiers.
“We published our response to our HMO reforms consultation in December 2017, and laid The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 in February.
“Where there are problems with smaller HMOs in a particular area, local housing authorities have the discretionary power to introduce additional HMO licensing.
“Local housing authorities are also able to introduce selective licensing of landlords in targeted areas to tackle specific problems, as long as the statutory requirements are met. We have committed to a review of selective licensing and will announce further details on the review after Easter recess.”
The RLA’s opposition to a national landlord register was quoted in a Commons debate on the issue last month.
MPs debated Labour MP Phil Wilson’s proposal for a register to help to tackle the issue of landlords who neglect their properties.
As an alternative to selective licensing, the RLA supports a system of self-regulation for landlords, whereby compliant landlords join a co-regulation scheme which deals with standards and complaints in the first instance, while those outside the scheme remain under the scope of local authority enforcement.