The Liberal Democrats once again called for the introduction of mandatory licensing for PRS homes as well as a publicly available database of rogue landlords at its party conference yesterday.
Aside from licensing, the Liberal Democrats also called for the promotion of longer private tenancies, with inflation or wage linked rents, a ‘right to buy’ for sitting tenants when a landlord sells, a cap on upfront tenant deposits, as well as a ban letting agents’ fees.
The Lib Dems also pledged to address the housing crisis by building 300,000 new homes a year to meet the current demand for property, while also addressing the backlog.
The party is also keen to focus on improving existing homes in this county, with a view to maximising housing stock and at the same time, meet the UK’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.
While many people will welcome the Lib Dems pledge to tackle the growing housing crisis in this country, others, including most landlords, will not welcome the party’s call for mandatory licensing for PRS homes.
Ahead of last year’s general election, RLA chairman Alan Ward warned that the Lib Dems’ proposals for the PRS could force some landlords out of the market altogether if the party was elected.
He said: “As we have seen in Wales, compulsory licensing schemes simply do not work.
“The Rent Smart Wales registration and licensing scheme is an absolute shambles, with ineffective enforcement, contradictory advice, and little consistency. Landlords have been left in limbo.
“As we have said time and time again the PRS needs effective enforcement, not more regulation. Mandatory licensing would merely punish good landlords who would be hit with hefty licence fees, while the criminals continue to operate under the radar.”