Licensing critic Gavin Barwell appointed Housing Minister

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley
Gavin Barwell was this week named Housing and Planning Minister by new Prime Minister Theresa May. But what is this likely to mean for PRS landlords?

Mr Barwell, MP for Croydon Central said he was keen to work with landlords, councils, housing authorities and developers to tackle the UK housing crisis – and has been a vocal critic of the controversial licensing schemes being introduced throughout the country.

Arguing they do not solve the problem but do increase costs for tenants he previously commented: “All the evidence suggests that it is a minority of landlords that are causing the problem, not the whole sector.

“So why is our Labour Council taxing all landlords right across the borough (a tax which law-abiding landlords will pay but those causing the problems will try to avoid), rather than using powers it already has to take action against those landlords who are not maintaining and managing their properties properly?”

This viewpoint will be music to the ears of many landlords, although whether this opinion translates into a change in direction remains to be seen.

Mr Barwell voted for Government measures to introduce Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments and also backed the controversial ‘bedroom tax’.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA said: “I hope the new Minister will recognise the contribution made by  PRS landlords, who are providing vital homes for millions of people at a time when demand is far outstripping supply, and will be open to hearing their opinions and continue to encourage them to invest.”

Mr Barwell tweeted his excitement about starting his new role at the weekend saying: “Look forward to working with councils, housing associations, developers & investors to ensure we build the homes people need and deserve.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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