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How to improve the rental market for tenants

Landlord licensing, a database of rogue landlords and improved rent controls are among some of the primary measures proposed by renters seeking to improve the rental market for tenants.

A new YouGov survey of just over 2,000 people conducted by rental marketplace has revealed what those renting in believe would make life better for tenants, with the introduction of mandatory landlord licensing, whereby all landlords would be forced to apply for a formal “landlord license” when renting out a property, selected as the most popular option to improve the renting experience for tenants.

The second most popular option was the introduction of a searchable “online rogue landlord database”, where tenants could look up a potential new landlord to check for any illegal or unprofessional activity. While there is already a basic rogue landlord database in the capital, there is not a single, comprehensive database with national coverage.

A better form of rent control was identified, such as imposing a maximum cap on rental prices, was the third most popular option among renters.

Nick Marr, co-founder of rental marketplace TheHouseShop, said: “Especially in London where the rental market is so competitive, most people will have a friend or family member who can tell them a horror story about a nightmare landlord or a terrible rental property.

“And the fact that, in many cases, these landlords can continue letting out sub-standard rental properties with no way for future tenants to know about their chequered past seems like an oversight from a regulatory point of view.”

How to improve the rental market for tenants

*Survey results have been re-based to remove "don't know"s

When finding a new place to live, renters generally know little about what they are signing up to – especially what the landlord will be like to deal with, according to Dan Wilson Craw, director at campaign group Generation Rent.

He commented: “It’s not surprising that there is so much support for measures like licensing and a database of dodgy landlords.

“The database would allow renters to avoid the worst operators, while licensing will provide extra confidence that landlords meet minimum standards.”

“Rent is too high for a start, but the threat of a rent increase can discourage renters from asking their landlord for repairs – so some form of rent control is also essential.”

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    landlord licencing fine but no doubt there will be a cost which will be passed onto tenants by way of increased rent.
    data base for rouge landlords, no problem with that.
    rent controls would need to be fair and based on similar properties in the area.
    advice on tenants rights, no problem there.
    not a ban on upfront fees but a cap on them would be fair.
    longer term tenancies, fine but only if we can get non payers out more quickly and cheaper.
    direct communication with landlords, fine.
    credit score, fine.
    decorate property, with in reason, and to a good standard.

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