Campaigners for tenant rights are calling for a national register of private landlords to combat slum lettings and “beds-in-sheds”.
Barely 7% of privately rented homes in England are currently covered by selective licensing schemes for landlords because local authorities don’t have to set them up.
In contrast, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are completely covered by selective licence schemes, so-called because they cover selected areas of a council and mean landlords are closely regulated.
“Existing licensing schemes have a clear track record of helping councils to identify unsafe homes and bring them up to standard, but the vast majority of private renters are not protected by them,” said Alicia Kennedy, director of pressure group Generation Rent.
“Nationwide landlord registration would give enforcement authorities valuable intelligence about this sector, make it easier to inform tenants of their rights, and prevent criminals from renting out homes.”
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