The National Landlords Association has rejected a central plank of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan for housing - the introduction of yet more private rental sector licensing.
In a report submitted in response to the official consultation on Khan’s housing policies, the NLA has criticised licensing as a means to tackle rogue landlords.
“We agree with the mayor that robust enforcement action against rogue landlords is vital. Unfortunately to date local authorities have been failing. The data shows that even with selective licensing, proper enforcement action does not always follow” says the association.
The NLA says good landlords, and by extension their tenants, are being made subject to a stealth tax because of the costs of licensing. This is far from the “better deal for renters” promised in the mayor’s manifesto during the campaign earlier this year.
“It is disappointing that the only suggestion the mayor has for tackling the minority of rogue landlords in the consultation is to encourage the spread of selective licensing across the city” says the association’s formal response.
The NLA does not believe that licensing is the panacea for London’s private rental sector and insists that a London-wide licensing regime, which the mayor views as the ultimate goal, would be financially damaging to the millions of private tenants he is seeking to protect.
“We believe that the mayor should play a more proactive, forward-looking role. By providing direct funding to local housing authorities in London, which includes closer co-operation between the Greater London Authority and local [borough] authorities, proper enforcement of regulations using existing powers could tackle sub-standard properties without unnecessarily taxing good landlords and their tenants” claims the body.