Local authorities have been implementing landlord licensing schemes for several years now. One of the reasons given by many local authorities for starting a licensing scheme is to collect information about landlords and their properties, with the intention of creating a landlord register.
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RLA Critical of Licensing Schemes The Residential Landlords Association has been highly critical of this scheme. They say landlord licensing is a huge cost burden to legitimate landlords, who have no choice but to pass on the cost to their tenants in the form of higher rents. Some, including the Housing Minister, have referred to this as a “tenants’ tax”.
In an interesting new development, the Department for Communities and Local Government has sent out a letter to all councils telling them they don’t need to implement landlord licensing in order to create a landlord register. The letter states that councils already have the power to request such information from tenants.
Provide Amended Council Tax Forms The RLA has been saying for a while now that all councils have to do is include an extra section on council tax registration forms where tenants can provide details of their landlord. This will enable rogue landlords, none of whom would dream of applying for a landlord license, to be identified.
“The RLA is calling on councils to now drop the tenants’ tax that licensing has become. They should use the powers they already have to identify all landlords and go after the criminals,” says Alan Ward, Chairman of the RLA.