MP set to fight landlords&#39 corner

Plans for the licensing of private rented accommodation have been revived by the government with lobbyists pushing for the licensing of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) in the next Parliament.

Speaking at the October meeting of the Small Landlords Association, lobbyist Ron Bailey reaffirmed several MP&#39s intention to pass a bill that could see local authority licensing of properties with five or more tenants. Labour MP Dr Des Turner saw the defeat of his own Home Energy Conservation Bill in August due to legal challenges and a lack of Parliamentary time, but renewed efforts are underway. Concerns have been raised by landlords in England and Wales following the introduction of HMO licensing in Scotland. In some boroughs landlords face annual licensing charges of £600 and landlords groups are keen to avoid it happening south of the border.

But Bailey told Mortgage Strategy: “Nothing is inevitable in politics, but there is strong support for this Bill and it is likely that we will see legislation in the next session. Private members&#39 Bills are presented in November and at least one MP will take up the cause.” And John Socha, chairman of the Small Landlords Association, adds: “It does look inevitable. Though this shouldn&#39t present too many difficulties to prospective landlords, we expect the government will try and pass the Bill as it is in its current form.”