The government is to perform a U-turn and is now set to recommend that a national register of landlords is introduced, its review of the UK’s selective licensing schemes is to reveal.
Ministers have until now been vocal in their opposition to such a scheme and in February last year Heather Wheeler MP told parliament that: “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.”
But it is understood that the partial success of Rent Smart Wales, which is a national register of landlords by the back door, and Scotland’s compulsory scheme, are believed to have swayed the government to recommend a similar scheme for England.
John Stewart (left), Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Ministers have repeatedly made clear that a national register of landlords would become an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy. We agree. All it would become is a list of good landlords which brings us no closer to finding the crooks that operate under the radar.”
In June last year the government revealed its intention to review selective licensing in the UK, which has seen an increasing trend in local authorities bringing in blanket licensing both for HMO and general rental properties.
The latest to introduce this, as The Negotiator reported last week, is Lewisham council, which has asked the Secretary of State for permission to licence all of the privately rented properties within its boundaries.
In January this year it was also announced that all landlords are to be required to join a redress scheme.