The government crackdown on the buy-to-let sector has seen landlord regulations increase by a third since the Conservative party came into government under the leadership of David Cameron.
The total number of regulations affecting landlords has increased by 32% since 2010, from 118 in 2010 to 156 today, according to a new analysis by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Despite the increase in regulation, the RLA warns that there has not been an improvement in enforcement action against criminal landlords and many councils are failing to properly use the powers they already have.
Previous research by the RLA has found that in 2017/18, two-thirds of councils had not commenced any prosecutions against private landlords.
In the same year, 89% of councils told the RLA they had not used new powers to issues Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 against private landlords for a range of offences. Just over half - 53% - did not have a policy in place to properly use the power.
Ahead of next month’s general election, the RLA is calling on all political parties to improve enforcement of the powers already available rather than introduce new legislation which councils will be unable to use to root out the rogue operators.
The RLA has just released its manifesto that it hopes all political parties will take note of ahead of the general election, setting out key priorities for the industry, including committing to the development of a housing court.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Removing criminal landlords from the sector will only be achieved if councils have the resources and the will to properly use the wide range of powers they already have.
“Piling more regulations onto the sector which will continue not to be properly enforced is meaningless and serves only to put off good landlords from providing the homes to rent we need.
“It is time for smarter enforcement, not more regulation.”