Licensing abandoned as council fears it will drive out landlords

A proposed licensing regime in Kent has been abandoned because of fears it would drive landlords away.

Medway council proposed a scheme three months ago but has now changed its mind.

Kent Online reports that the authority’s deputy leader, Howard Doe, said at a virtual council meeting this week it was not the right time to press ahead.

“We all know enforcement is expensive and the council is unlikely to recover its outlay in such proceedings” he says. 

“I am also concerned that over-regulation of some landlords might put the marginal landlords off maintaining their rental properties and they will simply put them on the market and sell them off.”

Councillors in the meeting were told the council did not have the resource or allocated budget to manage the enforcement, with initial start up costs expected to be £41,000. 

Labour called the U-turn “absurd.”

More than 18,000 households across the Medway Towns are in the hands of the private sector, but Kent Online claims that some rented accommodation has been described as “unsafe” and “substandard” while others are unlicensed.

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