An inquiry has been launched into local authorities’ powers to tackle landlords renting out substandard or even dangerous homes.
The CLG Select Committee wants to know whether councils have adequate powers to tackle these criminals, barriers to intervention in the private rented sector, whether landlord licensing schemes are working and the effectiveness of complaint mechanism for tenants.
Announcing the inquiry, Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “With a big rise in the number of people renting over the last decade, there are real concerns about the ability of local authorities to protect tenants by tackling bad landlords and practices.
“Our inquiry will examine how local authorities can carry out enforcement work to deal with rogue landlords as well as looking at approaches used by councils to provide private rented accommodation in their areas.”
The RLA has long campaigned for better enforcement rather than more regulation – and believes licensing does not work when it comes to rooting out the criminals.
Chairman Alan Ward said: “I have been urging councils to kick the crooks out of renting for many years and this announcement comes as welcome news.
“Councils’ decisions will always depend on the political will to take action against the shadowy end of the rental market, those who will never subscribe to licensing or registration schemes.”
The Committee is inviting written evidence in relation to the following questions:
- Do local authorities have the powers and capacity required to enforce standards in the private rented sector and deal with ‘rogue landlords’?
- What are the main obstacles to effective intervention in the private rented sector?
- How effective are landlord licensing schemes in promoting higher quality accommodation?
- What approaches have local authorities taken to promote affordable private rented sector accommodation in their areas?
- How effective are complaint mechanisms for tenants in the private rented sector?
The RLA will be providing a written submission ahead of the 24th November deadline and has offered to provide oral evidence to the committee.
Once complete, the submission will be available to view on the RLA campaigns and news centre site.