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Agency figure warns government not to scare off landlords

A senior Savills figure, who chairs the trade body known as The Lettings Industry Council, has issued a warning to the government not too further scare landlords away from the rentals sector.

Theresa Wallace - TLIC chair and head of Savills’ lettings customer service division - has responded to a Daily Telegraph story, based on a freedom of Information request, which has revealed that thousands of landlords have been hit with fines because they did not know their properties had to be licensed. 

Wallace tells the paper: “We don’t have enough landlords and we have lost a lot of them from the sector. Scaring them out is not helping the industry. I don’t think the scheme is very well publicised. Why would anyone think to look on their local authority website? Anybody could be caught out by pure naivety.”


The Telegraph says the information it has secured from a string of local authorities suggests that landlords are typically being fined £10,000-£15,000 for failing to meet licensing scheme rules. 

Many landlords have been caught out by licensing regulations when tenants have an additional person move into a property, making the landlords eligible for additional licensing payments - even if they are unaware. One London borough council is said to have issued 40 fines for this sort of apparent offence, totalling  £172,000.

Wallace adds: “The objective of the licensing scheme is not being met – which was to improve property standards. Just because you have a licence, it doesn’t mean your property is safe to live in.”

  • Matthew Payne

    Absurd level of fines for making LLs join a scheme whose small print they are unfamiliar with, then punishing them like this for being unfamiliar with that small print, and its not even vaguely commensurate with the offence. Miss your tax return its £100, not £15,000. Blatant profiteering for councils involved, and a race to the bottom if they carry on like this.

  • icon

    They have to pay for the CEOs and staff pensions somehow.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The licensing schemes are a nightmare. Councils should never have been allowed to establish their own licensing criteria- this should have been a single, national mandate. Costs should be commensurate with the likes of an MOT. What is kore, councils should be required to use at least 50% of revenues generated for pro-active enforcement and should also be legally required to process an application within 28 days of receipt (which is insanely long)-as opposed to some councils that are taking a year or sometimes more!!! The premise is good and right- but that is the only thing they got right.


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