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David Cameron’s Shocking Announcement Rocks Industry

May 23, 2015 | Landlord News  

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David Cameron sent shock waves through the private rented sector in his speech on immigration on Thursday, as he outlined plans for the roll-out of a nationwide mandatory landlord licensing scheme. Although scant details of how the scheme would be implemented were revealed, the call for regulation of the private rented sector is an unexpected surprise.

The Prime Minister said that a nationwide mandatory landlord licensing scheme would allow the government to “crack down on unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants.”

The announcement has been described by industry commentators as a “bolt from the blue,” as the Tories had previously shied away from such a policy, once describing licensing as a “tax on tenants,” and made no mention of it in their manifesto.

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ARLA, for one, were pleased that the Government has taken this step, even urging them to go further and “impose more appropriate, over-arching regulation on the whole lettings industry.”

The RLA were more cautious in their reception to the news. Chairman Alan ward said: “No form of universal licensing of rented property is proven to capture the most unscrupulous landlords. As so often, the devil will be in the detail.”

The PM also said he would be giving landlords the power to evict illegal immigrant tenants more quickly, although it is unclear how this will work with current means of possession.

Whilst there are still many questions to be answered regarding this announcement, we can expect this to have long term benefits for the rental sector, leading to an increase in professionalism as the rogue landlords and agents find themselves under increasing scrutiny to perform at a higher level of service. 

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