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Victory for private rental sector as council drops licensing idea

It appears that Wandsworth Council has backed away from a decision to implement a new landlord licensing scheme.

Research by London Property Licensing reveals that the council noted, in a meeting  held back in July, that complaints about poor quality accommodation have reduced in recent years and that most outstanding issues are resolved through negotiation.

“Having considered the idea of additional or selective licensing, the report concluded that there was no evidence available to justify the introduction of either scheme and so no licensing consultation will be carried out” says London Property Licensing.

As an alternative, Wandsworth council has come up with 10 proposals for action to improve the local private rental sector, including allocating a higher priority to housing enforcement in key wards, setting up action days to highlight tenants’ rights, streamlining administration and reviewing processes for serving legal notices on tenants

There will also be a new letting agent and landlord forum and update newsletters.

“It’s really good to see a council considering a range of options around landlord regulation rather than defaulting to licensing. The Housing Act 2004 offers a range of flexible powers to Councils and this range will shortly be widened with changes in the Housing and Planning Act” says David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlord Association.

Last month we reported a council in Somerset had also dropped its licensing proposals, following fierce opposition from industry.

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