Government pledges to review selective licensing schemes in near future

The government has pledged to begin a review of the selective licensing across the private rental sector once MPs return from their Easter recess next month.

Heather Wheeler MP, the Housing & Homelessness Minister, had told the Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee that the review would examine the effectiveness of selective licensing as it is now implemented by many local councils.

Changes would be recommended by the review if they were deemed necessary.

In response to questions from MPs, Wheeler appeared to rule out giving local authorities wider powers, but said the selective licensing principle had worked well in some areas with specific issues to address. 

She ruled out the prospect of a national register of buy to let or private rental properties, labelling the idea as “bureaucratic”.

Answering questions on other related topics, Wheeler told members of the select committee that in the government’s opinion Trading Standards currently had sufficient powers and resources to police the ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants, expected to be introduced in England next year and in Wales possibly this year. 

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