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Councils told new law renders local licensing schemes redundant

Local councils are being urged to drop landlord licensing schemes following the publication of new laws showing that they are not needed.

Measures in the government’s new Housing and Planning Bill make clear that local authorities can use council tax registration forms to ask tenants for details of a properties’ tenure and its landlord to help root out criminal landlords. 

The Bill also includes powers for local authorities to use information held by statutory tenancy deposit schemes to enforce regulations affecting private rented housing.


The Residential Landlords Association is now calling on councils to drop licensing schemes given that the Bill makes clear that they can collect the information they need without levying expensive costs on landlords which inevitably get passed on to tenants in higher rents. 

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has previously dubbed such licensing a “tenants’ tax”.

“Local authorities now have serious questions to answer. Why are they charging good landlords when they can collect the information they need to drive out criminal landlords using council tax registration forms for free. It’s time for councils to think again and bring to an end to the tenants’ tax once and for all” says RLA policy director David Smith. 


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