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Posted on November 18th 2015 by admin-movingin

Licensing schemes under new attack by Residential Landlords Association

Local authorities that charge landlords for licences solely to collect information on the number of landlords in an area have been sharply criticised.

The Residential Landlords Association said that such licensing schemes were “without reason”. It also described licensing schemes as a tax upon tenants, as landlords pass the costs of licensing on.

The RLA made its attack after a new letter sent to all councils in England from the Department for Communities and Local Government made it clear that they already have the power to ask tenants for information about a property’s tenure and landlord identity.

This, says the RLA, enables every local authority to build a register of landlords.

The body said this exposes the “expensive folly of licensing”. It criticised schemes which compel landlords to register, and charge them a fee for doing so.

The RLA has been campaigning for tenants to be asked to identify their landlord on council tax registration forms as a more effective way of finding all landlords, including criminal landlords who would never come forward to be licensed.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “The RLA is calling on councils to now drop the tenants’ tax that licensing has become.

“They should use the powers they already have to identify all landlords and go after the criminals.

“Councils have always had the power to identify all landlords. This letter is a reminder from the Government that they should use it instead of creating bureaucratic licensing schemes which tenants ultimately have to pay for.

“Asking tenants to identify their landlords is far more effective in finding and rooting out the criminal landlords who never willingly make themselves known.”