An idea that is (sort of) national policy for the Labour Party. Here's Ben Reeve-Lewis (not exactly a natural pal of rapacious private rental sector (PRS) landlords):
...if you go down the strict, blanket licensing route, you can forget building a partnership approach with the PRS community.
Whereas the social lettings agency route is based on building bridges and understanding, the licensing approach is a blunt tool that I would argue damages more than it helps...
Councils need PRS landlords more than they need councils and to entice them over we need to offer a hell of a package that will work for the PRS community. And in the working of it, councils will find it easier to police what is going on.
Ben goes on to say that the selective licensing approach (which we have - to Bradford's leadership's credit - twice voted down at full council) damages the relationship between the PRS and Councils to the detriment of the market and one assumes the tenants.
Ben concludes by despairing at the killing off of partnership approaches to lettings and the impact of the licensing approach championed by Newham Council:
The damage caused to schemes that are trying to build bridges and work with the PRS carries further than the borough boundaries of Newham and confirms endemic fears of many in the landlord community that councils are simply looking on the PRS as a huge cash cow.
Battle lines are beginning to get drawn and personally, I predict a civil war between town halls and the PRS if blanket licensing becomes the idea virus that it is threatening to become.