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Private Landlords (Registration) Bill

This Bill was introduced to Parliament on 17 January 2018. The Bill seeks to require all private landlords in England (Scotland already has a registration requirement) to be registered. The second reading was due to take place on 27 April 2018.

The Bill was introduced by Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) (Labour) MP who suggests that the police are concerned about the effect that a high concentration of private landlords has on areas of high deprivation in his constituency.

Further reasons for compulsory registration are that the lack of information on private landlords leads to an increased workload for the police. Where there is anti-social behaviour in a property or where a crime is committed in a rented property e.g burglary those arrested would be released under investigation. Where the injured party cannot be identified the matter cannot be recorded as a crime. If the landlord’s details had been known, charges could have been brought.

However, it should be noted that this Bill has already been referred to as a ‘stealth tax’ by Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope. He expressly states that he will not support this Bill. Furthermore, that the Bill will impose on councils (who are already failing to prosecute landlords due to a lack of resources) the additional burden of maintaining a register of landlords and then carrying out enforcement against those who have not signed it. Sir Chope also states that the proposal would have a disproportionate impact on the law-abiding and would deter people from letting their properties.

The Bill has not been published as of today’s date. In truth, it is very unlikely to proceed further as it will not get parliamentary time and so will probably never be published. However, should a copy be published we may update this post.

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