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Further evidence sessions on PRS and Draft Tenant Bill

Monday 19 February 2018

Later this week the Communities and Local Government Committee will hear further evidence, this time from local authorities and representative bodies, covering the topics of licensing schemes and whether the draft Tenant Fees Bill allow for sufficient enforcement powers.

Heads of housing from Boston Borough Council and Bournemouth Borough Councils, and Councillor Clare Salier, Cabinet Minister for Housing, London Borough of Wandsworth are likely to asked about licensing schemes and whether the draft Tenant Fees Bill will allow enforcement teams sufficient powers to be able to act in cases of non-compliance.

The Committee will also hear further evidence, from the Chartered Institute of Housing, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Chartered Trading Standards Institute about the powers that local authorities to intervene when private rental properties are deemed to be sub-standard.

The evidence session follows two previous sessions, that latest of which saw ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox put up a formidable fight representing the interests of letting agents, arguing that licensing schemes simply don't work. He provided substantive evidence in support of his argument, citing specific examples of existing licensing schemes for which statistics indicate a failure to tackle the worst offenders.  

David Cox, said that the Draft Tenant Fees Bill will have a significant impact on agents, particularly with regard to referencing and called for clarity and legislative certainty within the bill in areas including the Green Deal, leaving a tenancy early, and deposit replacement insurance schemes. He also criticised the Government's impact assessment for the Bill. 

He argued for the ARLA Propertymark preferred model of regulation - which is for an overarching independent regulator, with approved bodies such as Propertymark being responsible for accreditation criteria and administration of the scheme, similar to the way that the legal profession is currently regulated. 

If you've not already read our previous article on this or watched the recorded session, we highly recommend that you do. 

The next session is scheduled for 9:30am, and 10:15 on 21 February and you'll be able to watch it live on parliament TV.