by Daniel Jones
As an increasing number of councils are bringing forward the scheme, the NLA believes that there is not enough evidence to support selective licensing being adopted.
Instead, it's keen to help landlords and tenants - who would be directly affected - by proposing more constructive alternative approaches.
The NLA's argument is that selective licensing will not alleviate the problem of poor housing standards, anti-social behaviour or low housing demand. It's concerned that the legislation will simply license the good, law-abiding landlords and push the rogue ones further underground - as it's quite improbable that a criminal landlord would apply for one.
Chairman of the NLA, Carolyn Uphill, said that, while selective licensing is a powerful tool that local authorities have at their disposal, it's just one of many available - and shouldn't be used for the sake of it.
"Councils already have a vast array of existing powers available to them to deal with criminals and we believe that targeted intelligence-led enforcement against rogue operators is a better solution.
"We want to encourage co-operation between councils and landlords, and believe accreditation is a better way to encourage this and give tenants confidence in their landlord."
She added that as licensing is expensive, it has the potential to have a disproportionate impact on the majority of landlords who do their job well - and enables the small number of criminals to continue working illicitly.
Improved working relationships have already begun to emerge in Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Gravesend, where councils are liaising with landlords to ameliorate the private rental sector.
The campaign has the Twitter handle @nationalandlord and the Facebook page National Landlords Association NLA can be liked. In addition, the hashtag #NLALicensing can be used by anyone wanting to lend their support.
Published on: February 17, 2014