The Government has quashed speculation that it will announce surprise legislation to regulate letting agents or other aspects of the private rented sector with a statement that such a move would “introduce too much additional red tape”.
Trade bodies in the private rental industry had been speculating in recent weeks that increasing levels of controversy surrounding so-called revenge evictions, landlord licensing and alleged poor conditions in some lettings properties may prompt a last-minute rush to regulation by the coalition government ahead of next spring’s general election.
But a briefing note released by the House of Commons library says: “The Government considers that the present legal framework strikes the right balance between landlords and tenants and that new regulations would ‘introduce too much additional red tape.”
The note – a device sometimes used by governments to draw a line beneath rumbling debates over law changes – sets out the various measures which have been taken by the coalition in recent years.
In addition to an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act requiring all letting agents to sign up to a redress scheme, there was also a code of practice introduced on the management of property in the private rented sector published earlier this month, and a voluntary model tenancy agreement "which landlords and tenants can use for longer tenancies, which will provide extra security and stability for families" published in September.
The DCLG published a document over two years ago called Dealing with Rogue Landlords and aimed at local authorities, while in June this year there was a checklist for tenants and landlords published by the department.