Landlord licensing won’t work, claims Rightmove’s legal director

David Cox tells The Negotiator Conference that such a register hasn't worked elsewhere, and that selective licensing has also proven to move the dial very little.

The government’s proposed landlord register will not improve conditions within the private rented sector, a leading industry figure has claimed.

The comments were made at Friday’s Negotiator Conference in London by Rightmove’s Legal and Compliance Director David Cox.

He said that landlord licensing in England has been talked about for 15 years and that, despite the government’s interest in greater regulation of landlords, it “didn’t work in Scotland… and will not work here”.

He went on to claim that any register would just be a data collecting opportunity for local authorities and that just having a piece of paper to prove their appearance on a register would not improve landlord behaviour, he suggested.

Licensing let-down

In reply to a question by moderator Robert Peston, Cox also said that the additional red tape faced by landlords and letting agents within the 500+ property licensing schemes now in operation across England had, equally, not improved housing stock or landlord behaviour.

“All they have done is divert resources in local authorities who are already cash strapped and overburdened with regulatory administration,” he said.

“Look at any area of the nation where there has been borough-wide selective licensing scheme introduced and it hasn’t worked.

“Even in Newham, where the London borough pumped in millions of pounds to make it work, the scheme didn’t improve its PRS and if you go there today the bad landlords are still operating.”

But although Cox was critical of the proposed landlord register, he said it was likely that such a scheme will still make an appearance in the promised rent reform White Paper next year, and be implemented.

Read more about David Cox’s views on PRS compliance.

One Comment

  1. Won’t work? It hasn’t worked.
    What has happened, it’s reduced supply with the burdensome paperwork we have to endure, Landlord have packed up, rents have rocketed, supply & demand.
    And me biggest Benefit Landlord in Nottingham can’t retire & sell his houses cause my Benefit tenants can’t move any more. No one will take them once u read Selective Licensing conditions. And they can’t afford the other Landlords rents.

    Licensing has made the good houses worse, all to find a few Landlords that din’t have the proper Buy to let mortgages. That’s been the success of Licensing.

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