Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?13:36 PM, 14th October 2020
About 2 weeks ago 60
ARLA Propertymark have clearly announced their verdict on Selective Licensing post the government’s launch of a review into its effectiveness.
David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Licensing doesn’t work, and it never has done.
“The Government’s aims are laudable. We’re all striving for the same end goal of improving the private rental sector for consumers, but these policies are impractical.
“Licensing means councils spend all their time administering schemes, rather than enforcing against rogue, criminal landlords. A fact which has been proven time and time again over the last decade.
“Implementing standards for minimum bedroom sizes means small, cheap bedrooms will be taken off the market at a time when there’s an acute housing shortage. This will increase costs for other tenants living in the property, and means those who need or want these small, cheap bedrooms will be left without anywhere to live.
“HMO licensing guidance coupled with the gradual removal of mortgage interest relief, new energy standards for landlords, and the ever-increasing fees for these schemes, means landlords are being hit from every side. At a time when the Government is concerned with rising rent costs, all its policies are just increasing costs for landlords fostering a private rented sector where financial burdens due to ever changing legislation will keep rising.”
The RLA remain less vehemently critical having endorsed Selective Licensing schemes in the past saying: “The RLA believes selective licensing in not the most effective way to improving housing standards. This is because good, law abiding landlords often have to pay a lot of money to obtain a licence, while criminal landlords ignore the rules and continue to operate ‘below the radar’.”
The NLA has concerns, but believes Selective Licensing can work with Local Policy Officer Gavin Dick commenting: “If selective licensing schemes are used appropriately and in a targeted fashion, they can be an effective tool for councils to improve housing standards. However, they need to be implemented properly, fully resourced and enforced.
“We believe a far more effective means of improving standards in the PRS is through better co-operation between councils and landlords, which can be bolstered through accreditation.”
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