The government and local councils are not doing enough to clampdown on rogue landlords, according to a new report.
A survey of 500 landlords who own houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) found that 70% want more to be done to crackdown on those abusing the law and giving landlords a bad reputation.
Key findings from the study, conducted by Multi-Let UK, also reveal that 52% of investors want to see local councils make more inspection visits to identify HMOs that are not up to standard, while a further 48% of investors are calling for more severe penalty for slum HMO landlords.
The research also shows that 20% of investors would like to see councils with more power to ensure landlords are compliant with all the legislation and regulations.
Recent findings from the Citizens Advice Bureau show that private landlords are taking £5.6bn in rent on homes that ‘don’t meet legal standards’ – £1.3bn of which comes from state housing benefits. The body has said it believes that 740,000 families in the English private rent sector are living in homes that present a severe threat to the occupants’ health.
Daniel Hill, managing director of Multi-Let UK, commented: “As we all know, there a dark side to the UK’s rental market with unscrupulous landlords, renting HMOs to numerous tenants, which are neither safe or secure and openly flouting the law.
“There is increasing pressure on all landlords with Right to Rent, the new tax rules, ongoing legislation to name but a few. HMOs are particularly challenging, with complex legal compliance requirements, mandatory and additional licensing, building regulations and increased governance over the HMO sector.
Hill recognises that the majority of landlords are taking a proactive approach, ensuring their properties meet all the latest legal requirements and regulations, but he insists that in many areas around the UK there remain many landlords providing “poor quality accommodation” which fails to meet the statutory requirements, putting “tenants’ wellbeing and potentially lives at risk”
He added: “More and more councils are re-examining inspection procedures and legislative guidelines surrounding the need for landlords to gain an HMO licence. However, our research shows that there are a large number of HMO landlords who believe that not enough is being done to stamp out slum landlords.”