Monday, 21 January 2013

Scottish Landlord Registration

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives reveal that the cost of identifying each rogue landlord is a staggering £410,000. In addition the cost of running the Scottish landlord registration website is an amazing £300,000 a year.

To date Scottish landlords have spent £11.2 million in fees and the Scottish Government gave a grant of £5.2 million to start the landlord registration scheme. So in total £16.4 million has been spent and yet only 40 landlords have been refused registration compared with over 200,000 who have been successful.

This is the type of scheme Labour leader Ed Miliband wants to see rolled out in England and both the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly want to follow suit.

This could mean that landlord registration throughout the UK would cost at least £98 million and have annual running costs of at least £1.8 million. At the same time we could expect to see just 240 rogue landlords identified throughout the whole of the UK.

Scottish Tory housing spokesman Alex Johnstone said: "This farcical programme, introduced with the best of intentions, is failing to deliver at a tremendous cost to the taxpayer.

"And responsible people with aspirations to get into the property business are being hit in the pocket because of this inadequate scheme.

"The private rented sector is playing an increasingly important role in delivering solutions to housing need in Scotland, and we need a robust an efficient mechanism to help achieve that.

"These figures suggest that, at the moment, the Private Landlord Registration Scheme is not it."

The question has to be asked whether or not the amount of time, effort and money this scheme has cost represents good value for money for the Scottish Private Rented Sector and whether, based on these figures, there is any justification for rolling landlord registration out throughout the rest of the UK.