Communities and Local Government CommitteeFurther written evidence submitted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Upon reflection, RBKC would like to amend paragraph 5.12 with the below.

5.12 Licensing landlords: There is a need for some kind of sanction to exclude poor performing landlords from the private sector. The Rugg Review suggested a “light-touch licensing scheme” for the whole of the private sector. We would suggest that this it not necessary, in Kensington and Chelsea and that local authorities should concentrate at the lower end of the housing market. We believe that some form of landlord licensing may have some merits but there is a danger that it will only concentrate on good landlords that perhaps rent only one or two properties. Such a scheme could escalate into a bureaucratic burden for local authorities with many conditions and large fees which could dissuade good landlords from operating.

It is more important that local authorities have greater resources to tackle rogue landlords. The danger of any scheme is that it could mirror the bureaucratic process of HMO licensing schemes where LAs use their scarce resources to grant licences to good landlords rather than concentrate solely on enforcing against rogue landlords which are renting squalid, dangerous and unhealthy properties. The Government should make the deterrents for bad landlords stronger and resource private rented sector enforcement properly so that efforts are concentrated on investigating poor conditions and addressing them through a simplified enforcement regime.

Please can you also remove paragraph 9.11.

February 2013

Prepared 16th July 2013