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Government plans for rental market are unworkable

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.

Measures include:

* 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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0 thoughts on “Government plans for rental market are unworkable

  1. Jim Parker says:

    It’s been 4 years since landlord registration in Scotland and still it’s not routed out rouge landlords. It’s only placed more red tape on the majority of landlords that are law abiding already. It’s been a waste of time and money, a fiasco. Remember the dome!!!!
    What about a register for tenants then and before the do gooders get on their high horse, we as landlords are also individuals as well and entitled to our rights under data protection and civil liberties.

  2. Ben Travers says:

    Would the landlord sue the site or the individual tenants for liable in the case of false accusations?

  3. Mr Commonsense says:

    As a member of the NLA, I have little opportunity for feedback on matters like this that concern me, and my views are generally only sought in surveys to prove/disprove the viability of the NLA’s latest commercial venture. I think the NLA fails to grasp just how ANGRY we members all are about the way we are being treated by this government.

    I believe there are some 30,000 members of the NLA, most with multiple properties, so we should collectively represent a stong force in the PRS. Yet I see no sign that this weight is ever leveraged. The NLA stages well-meaning rants at the Housing Minister, but loses far more arguments than it wins. So we are being forced to accept more and more costs and needless legislation and bureacracy.

    It’s high time we came out fighting, and used our collective muscle to tell the government what to do. After all, they work for us, don’t they?

    For example:
    – how about legislation that makes 8 week security deposits compulsory?
    – legislation to fast-track re-possession as soon as a tenant is 8 weeks in arrears?
    – additional measures to help landlords recover arrears and costs of damage from defaulting tenants
    – compulsory tenant insurance or bonding (paid for by them) to cover costs of damage to property not covered by the deposit?
    – the right to operate a web site that lists all tenants who have been proven to cause damage, or who have become more than 8 weeks in arrears?

    In the USA, a defaulting tenant is thrown out on the street in 14 days. Yet, in the UK, the whole landlord/tenant relationship has been skewed totally in favour of the tenant by this electioneering government, which knows there are votes in landlord-bashing. WE are the ones who make the investments, take the risks and foor the bills. WE are the ones that have taken over the role of providing social housing for people who we would once not have considered as tenants. So why the hell should we give more and more ground to tenants, many of whom are not worthy of any support? It’s time we stopped pussy-footing around this situation, and all fought back. What we need is LEADERSHIP. And if the NLA will not provide it, then somebody else will.