Labour has announced, in its manifesto, plans to shake up the private rental sector by handing out fines to rogue landlords via a landlord licensing scheme.
Under the new proposals put forward by Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow housing minister, John Healey, all private landlords would have to pay for a landlord licence. Landlords who fail to register for the scheme would be fined up to £100k.
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Local authorities will be given new powers to introduce their own landlord licensing schemes. They will also be given the power to fine rogue landlords.
However, Conservative Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has told the press that landlords will push the extra cost of a £750 licence back on to tenants. This effectively makes it a tenant tax. But, shadow housing minister, John Healey, disagrees. He says the scheme will encourage tenants to report bad landlords and help to clean up the private rental sector of poor quality housing.
Labour Analysis of the PRS
Labour says it has carried out analysis that reveals tenants are spending £800 million a month on sub-standard homes. Nearly 25% of this money comes from the government’s own housing benefit purse.
“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have basic consumer rights that we take for granted in other areas,” said Mr Healey.
“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer.”