Proposals for a national register of landlords have been rejected by the government.
A report on the joint research project between the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, which was published at the start of the year, called for the creation of a national landlord register for the PRS in England.
But the recommendation, which many experts feared could increase costs and create more red tape for those landlords providing good quality homes to rent, has been ditched by the government.
In response to a written question issued by Baroness Thornhil, Viscount Younger of Leckie on behalf of the government, commented: “A detailed assessment of this report has not been made. This government commissioned an independent review into selective licensing which was published on 25 June 2019 and the recommendations are currently being reviewed.
“This government has no current plans to introduce a national landlord register, which could place an additional regulatory burden on landlords. This government is committed to improving the private rented sector by driving out criminal landlords and landlords who consistently neglect their responsibilities to provide safe and decent accommodation.
“Local authorities currently have a wide range of powers available to them including banning orders for the worst offenders, civil penalties of up to £30,000 and a database of rogue landlords and property agents targeted at the worst persistent and criminal offenders.”
Heather Wheeler, minister for Housing and Homelessness, has long opposed the proposal for a national register of landlords.
Commenting on the issue last year, she said: “The government does not support a mandatory register of private landlords.
“The majority of landlords provide decent and well managed accommodation and requiring those landlords to sign up to a national register would introduce an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy.”
Leading trade body for letting agents, ARLA Propertymark, is now calling on local authorities to adopt a collaborative approach with letting agents, landlords, professional bodies and public services to tackle issues within the private rented sector.
ARLA Propertymark’s key concerns with licencing and its enforcement include a lack of resources, the heavily focus on the administration involved with licensing schemes, the need for already compliant landlords and agents to fund the administration of the scheme.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “What we need is education. Landlords need to be trained in what they need to do. Agents need to be trained in what they need to do. Filling in a piece of paper and giving it to the council and paying £500 is not going to teach them the 150 laws that they need to understand.”
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