The NLA is opposed to websites which offer landlords the opportunity to offer feedback on their tenants. It is also opposed to the planned "Trip Adviser" style website encouraging tenants to post views on their landlords. The website would require such intensive management and scrutiny so as to make it unworkable and ineffective. As with all subjective feedback sites, negative experiences considerably outweigh the positive.
Furthermore, lists of landlords in the form of the proposed National Register will not root out rogue operators from the sector. In fact, the likely consequence of these plans would be to penalise the law-abiding while at the same time drive the worst landlords under the radar. The proposed National Register would neither protect tenants nor support local authority enforcement activity.
* New housing hotline offering free help and advice for private tenants;
* Trip adviser’ style word-of-mouth website comparing landlords;
* Requirement for written tenancy agreements in all tenancies;
* Increase the limit for Assured Shorthold Tenancies from £25,000 to £100,000 per year;
* National Register for Landlords "to help tenants make basic checks on their prospective landlords";
* Full regulation of letting and managing agents.
David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: "Landlords are now getting highly mixed messages from the Government. At the same time as having to provide more accommodation in order to plug the housing gap, landlords are also now expected to be on a register, declare the addresses of their rental properties and also have feedback (whether true or false) posted about them on the internet. Where is the incentive for landlords to develop their housing provision in today’s proposals? And how exactly do these administrative functions actually improve the quality of rental property?
"The NLA has said again and again that we do not need further regulation which over-burdens the overwhelming majority of good landlords. However, we recognise the desperate need for local authorities to better use existing powers to drive up standards and root out rogue operators. Once again, we call on councils to devise strategies which target rogue landlords without penalising the law-abiding majority.
"For many landlords [today’s] announcement when combined with last week’s proposed changes to the planning regime surrounding Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) will not make for good reading. Very little of what we have before us recognises the value of the majority of good landlords who work tirelessly in the provision of decent and affordable housing solutions. Landlords could be forgiven for thinking that this latest round of measures is little more than landlord-bashing by the Government."
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