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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Licensing of landlords off the political agenda

It seems, at least for now that the Government has no intention of bringing in mandatory licensing for landlords in England. The subject of rogue landlords was raised with the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons on Monday -

Mike Freer (Finchley and Golders Green) (Con): What steps his Department is taking to tackle rogue landlords. [901316]

The Minister for Housing and Planning (Brandon Lewis): We have provided £6.7 million thus far to crack down on rogue landlords and have legislated to protect tenants from retaliatory eviction. I am determined to go further. We have recently published plans to blacklist and ban rogue landlords and to enable councils to impose civil penalties and to seek rent repayment orders in more circumstances.

Mike Freer: Does my hon. Friend agree that the approach of creating a register will simply create bureaucracy and drive up rents for tenants?

Brandon Lewis: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Last time the Opposition costed their plans for a national register, it was, I think, about £40 million a year, a cost that would fall on the tenants. More regulation in that sense is simply not the answer; it drives down supply and, as a result, quality for tenants.

Let's all hope the Corbyn factor doesn't upset the apple cart.

For those of you who want to read Monday's full discussion in the H of C

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