Tenants’ rights group Generation Rent says only a national register of landlords will stop rogues evading justice.
The statement was released in reaction to a research report published by the Residential Landlords Association which Generation Rent says “tries and fails to defend deregulation of private renting, and only reinforces the case for a national landlords register.”
The RLA this week published “The impact of regulation on the private rented sector”, a report by Professor Michael Ball of Henley Business School, which claims that current regulations are failing to achieve their aims.
Generation Rent claims there are a number of problems with the report’s claims, including:
1. “Registration schemes can never be comprehensive because they face the fundamental information problem of not knowing what properties are rented out by whom.”
Generation Rent says the lack of data in the industry only proves the need for a comprehensive landlord register.
2. Operating costs “range up to 30-40% of gross rents”
Generation Rent says the regulatory ‘burden’ is illusory and that all businesses have running costs, and being a private landlord is a highly profitable one.
3. “The sensible way to evaluate any proposal aimed at regulating the private rented sector is to undertake a cost-benefit analysis (CBA), comparing the costs, direct and indirect, with the value of the benefits expected to be achieved.”
Generation Rent says the trouble is that Professor Ball’s own cost-benefit analysis claims that tenancy deposit schemes cost £276m but the only benefit is the £7m in deposits that are recovered by tenants as a result of the scheme.
The group says that not only does the analysis fail to take into account the deposits that landlords would withhold were it not for the scheme, it does not acknowledge that the cost of running the system is a mere 10% of the total value of deposits protected.
It adds that the 0.5% of tenants that need to recover their deposits indicates that the scheme is working in deterring landlords from claiming their tenants’ money.