A new cross-party report has suggested nationwide banning orders for bad landlords, a national licence for landlords, plus a guide for tenants on renting a property in order to tackle problems in the private rented sector.
The report entitled “Creating a better private rented sector” was published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Friday. It suggested a full review of the PRS regulatory system to check its fit for purpose.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) welcomed aspects of the report which it says “highlights the need for better enforcement by local authorities of the wide range of powers they already have to enforce standards.”
The RLA argues that the report rightly details pragmatic solutions such as civil penalties and banning orders to prevent criminal landlords from operating, together with a call for a clearer definition of what constitutes a “fit and proper” person to rent out properties.
On the subject of landlord registration, the report rightly proposes that the Government should look at the barriers preventing the use of landlords contact details already available through statutory tenancy deposit schemes or to local authorities rather than creating a vast new bureaucracy.
The RLA objects however to its recommendations for annual electrical safety checks in private rented homes as there is little evidence that such regular checks would achieve a notable improvement in safety.
RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “The APPG has successfully produced a detailed report that resists headline grabbing hysteria.
“The RLA has long called for a review of existing regulations, and we therefore welcome the calls for greater enforcement of existing legislation before reaching for yet more red tape that stifles much needed growth in the sector.
“While there are aspects of the report we do not fully agree with, we welcome the report’s recognition that the sector is coming up with pragmatic solutions to tackle the challenges highlighted in the report.
“We therefore call on all parties to respond in kind to the pragmatism shown in this report.”