The National Landlords Association (NLA) has launched a social media campaign against the introduction of selective licensing in certain parts of England.
It says more and more councils are bringing forward selective licensing schemes where there is little substantial evidence to justify them. Working closely with its local members, the NLA is campaigning to stop the introduction of selective licensing and help landlords and tenants who would be directly affected by proposing more constructive alternative approaches.
The NLA believes that selective licensing will not solve the problem of poor housing standards, anti-social behaviour or low housing demand and is concerned that the legislation will merely serve to license the good, law-abiding landlords and push the criminal landlords further underground – it says it is unlikely that a criminal landlord would apply for a license.
Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA said: “Selective licensing is a powerful tool at the disposal of local authorities, but it is only one of many available and should only be used when appropriate. Licensing is expensive and has the potential to have a disproportionate impact on the compliant majority who are not at fault while allowing the criminal minority to continue beneath the radar.
"Councils already have a vast array of existing powers available to them to deal with criminals and we believe that targeted intelligence-led enforcement against rogue operators is a better solution.
“We want to encourage co-operation between councils and landlords, and believe accreditation is a better way to encourage this, and give tenants confidence in their landlord. The NLA has released a Tenant Information Pack, which we would be happy to co-badge with any council wanting to help promote best practice and to ensure both landlords and tenants know their obligations.”
Already, the NLA has seen better working relationships emerge in Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Gravesend to name a few, where councils are liaising with landlords to improve the PRS.