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Landlord licensing scheme branded a costly fiasco by Tories

Just 100 landlords have been banned in Scotland in the last five years after the introduction of a compulsory registration scheme that has so far cost £17.4m.

The 100 have had their licences refused or revoked, out of a total of 200,000 – equivalent to just 0.05%. Eleven have been reported to the procurator fiscal – Scotland’s equivalent of the public prosecutor – for serious breaches in the last two years.

The figures have been obtained by the Scottish Tories.

Landlords have paid £11.2m in fees to the scheme, while taxpayers have contributed  £5.2m. Annual running fees are estimated to be just under £300,000.

The Conservatives said the scheme has been a costly failure. 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 and efficient mechanism to help achieve that.

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

The Scottish government said that the scheme had been introduced to provide reassurance to tenants – but the figures may not provide much assurance to the London borough of Newham which has just introduced blanket compulsory licensing, and to Liverpool which is considering a compulsory city-wide scheme.

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