My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in this short debate. I take the point that the noble Lord, Lord Foster of Bath, made about the funding mechanism. We certainly need to devise a system that collects the fee with another charge or over a longer period, although, as the noble Lord, Lord Best, said, there are already private landlords who have signed up to the scheme and pay their contribution to be part of this valuable service.
That is also why our amendment put forward a pilot scheme in only one part of the country—London. At the end of the scheme, that would be evaluated by the Secretary of State and a report would be laid before Parliament; at that point the scheme might have been a great success and could be extended further or might not have worked—or somewhere in between. We gave all options to the Secretary of State to move forward.
We should not forget that, in many of the areas that I outlined in which people have protections, virtually no legal aid is available now for these things. The protections are there, but they do not have the legal aid to ensure those protections. With that, though, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment 17 withdrawn.
Clauses 52 to 54 agreed.
Moved by Lord Beecham
18: After Clause 54, insert the following new Clause—
“Accreditation and licensing for private landlords
Local authorities shall be required to operate an accreditation and licensing scheme for private landlords.”