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New housing minister has gone on record opposing rental licensing

The Residential Landlords’ Association says Gavin Barwell, the new housing minister appointed by Theresa May this week, is a known critic of local authority licensing schemes governing the private rental sector.

The association has discovered the views that Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, expressed when the local authority governing his own constituency was introducing landlord licensing in the past. 

Arguing that licensing schemes do not solve the problem but do increase costs for tenants he previously commented: “All the evidence suggests that it is a minority of landlords that are causing the problem, not the whole sector.”

He went on: “So why is our Labour Council taxing all landlords right across the borough (a tax which law-abiding landlords will pay but those causing the problems will try to avoid), rather than using powers it already has to take action against those landlords who are not maintaining and managing their properties properly?”

The association describes the viewpoint as “music to the ears of many landlords” - but says whether this opinion translates into a change in direction by the May government in comparison to the Cameron government remains to be seen.

“I hope the new minister will recognise the contribution made by private rental sector landlords, who are providing vital homes for millions of people at a time when demand is far outstripping supply, and will be open to hearing their opinions and continue to encourage them to invest” says Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA.

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