Compulsory licensing of private landlords is not necessary, MPs have been told.
Councillor Jonathan Glanz, cabinet member for housing at Westminster City Council, told a committee that councils already have sufficient powers to deal with rogue landlords.
He said: “The majority of landlords in Westminster do provide decent homes but there are powers in place which we, and other local authorities, can call upon for when landlords renting privately to tenants in their area do not play by the rules.
“Last year, council officers in Westminster carried out more than 1,500 inspections resulting in 206 legal notices being served and seen prosecutions, with hundreds of homes being made safe in the profess.
“So, we do not believe in burdening the vast majority of landlords who are law abiding with further regulation and red tape, but instead concentrate our efforts on targeting the rogue landlords who are acting criminally, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of tenants renting in the private sector.”
The inquiry into the private rented sector, being held by the Communities and Local Government Committee, is to continue next week.
It has announced sessions for Monday in Leeds, and for Monday week in London.
Those invited to give evidence include representatives from the National Union of Students and the National Landlords Association, plus Sir Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, the London borough which has introduced blanket compulsory licensing of every single private landlord – in stark contrast to Westminster Council’s stance.
The cross-party committee is chaired by Labour MP Clive Betts.