National Landlords Association backs government rejection of ‘unnecessary’ licensing plan

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association - Credit: Archant

A leading landlords body has welcomed the government’s decision to reject plans for a new licensing scheme.

Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Labour Group

Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Labour Group - Credit: Archant

Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association (NLA) said the organisation did not believe Redbridge Council’s proposals, which the authority believed would tackle anti-social behaviour and rogue landlords, were justified.

“We’re reassured that the Secretary of State has reviewed the evidence provided by the council and come to the same conclusion,” he said.

“We support the use of landlord licensing where a strong case for its introduction can be evidenced.

“While there may well still be a case for licensing some parts of the borough, [communities and local government minister] Greg Clark has concurred that it does not extend to all wards of Redbridge.”

The news, which has also been welcomed by Redbridge Conservatives leader Cllr Paul Canal, has left Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal “extremely disappointed” after his cabinet approved the plan in June.

“Redbridge Council already has extensive powers to tackle rogue landlords,” continued Mr Lambert.

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“It should now concentrate its time and resource on targeting specific problem areas, so that the majority of law abiding landlords and residents are not faced with footing the bill for a broadbrush scheme that has ultimately been determined as unnecessary.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the council “did not provide evidence of significant and persistent anti-social behaviour across the borough as a whole” and therefore threw out the plan.

A spokesman added: “The government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords that let out poorly-maintained and unsafe properties.

“We have already brought in selective licensing so councils can target their activity on areas with the worst problems.”

Cllr Canal called the Labour administration’s plan “poorly conceived”.

Cllr Athwal admitted it was “back to the drawing board” for councillors to consider their options in a statement earlier this month.

He said: “We strongly believe that a borough-wide scheme is vital to hold landlords to account for the actions of their tenants including noise, rubbish and vandalism and other anti-social behaviour related to some private rented properties.”

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