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Government has no plans for a national register of landlords

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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Poll: Do you welcome the news that there will be no national register of landlords?


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    Shame. The government has stated: "The majority of landlords provide decent and well managed accommodation." - But where is the evidence for stating this? Do local councils routinely inspect rental properties? I believe not. Letting out a property is a huge responsibility - should absolutely anyone be able to do this without check? Landlord Today's own website regularly features stories of dreadful landlords who are taken to the courts and punished. What do landlords fear from a national register?


    Well I for one have nothing to fear and would welcome it so long as landlords were not expected to pay for it.

    Daniela Provvedi

    Hi David,
    I also have nothing to hide from a National Register. But as per Andrew Townshend, as long as we're not expected to pay for it.
    I'm not sure why the POLL results show 75% in favour of NOT having a National Register. I'd be interested in knowing why such a high percentage of people chose that they DO NOT WELCOME a National Register.

    • N P
    • 08 November 2019 13:37 PM

    My guess would be the 84% of tenants who say they are satisfied with their accommodation according to the English Housing Survey published by the government...

    Tenants who DON’T think the vast majority of landlords provide decent accommodation need to stop scare mongering and focus on the minority that don’t. Making broad statements against landlords is not helpful and counter intuitive. More unnecessary regulatory cost means higher rents. More unnecessary burdens means fewer landlords, less rental housing supply and you guessed it... higher rents. I personally don’t care if there is a national register though I’m almost certain it will achieve very little, but let’s have a national register of tenants too then.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    A Register is just another ineffective and costly mechanism like Licensing, the majority of compliant Landlords will register, But not the landlords it seeks to ' Catch '
    Local Authorities need to work 'smarter' collaborating with Tenancy advice centres such as Citizens Advice.
    If there was more ' joined-up ' thinking, there is already all the information needed, its just not compiled into one database. Why should the majority of compliant Landlords pay for [ Local ] government to organise themselves !
    Just make better use of Deposit schemes, HMRC, Emergency services and a myriad of other data bases.

  • James B

    No surprise arla want more training / red tape .. vested interest

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    • 08 November 2019 13:32 PM

    There is a massive problem with fraudulent LL who need to be put out of business so that competition is fair.
    There are millions of tenancies where HB tenants are taken on in compete breach of mortgage conditions.
    This might be considered a minor fraud but it is still unfair competition.
    Allowing fraudulent LL to operate depresses rents.
    Getting rid of all the disparate licensing schemes for ONE National LL Licensing scheme would make eminent sense.
    To operate as a LL in the UK each rental property as well as each LL would require a licence number.
    Such numbers would be a requirement to be listed with any web portal or any LA.
    They would also be detailed on any AST.
    Any prospective tenant would be able to access a LL data and property base to ascertain the veracity of the LL and the particular rental property.
    Any Property advertised without a LL licence and property number would be a de facto illegal letting.

    It surely wouldn't be too long before any LL trying to let a property without the relevant licence numbers would be detected with relevant enforcement action as required.
    No good and legal LL would have any objection to such a National LL licensing scheme.
    Wrapped up in the licence could be property redress.
    The scheme would be very cheap.
    £50 per property every 5 years would suffice.
    It is most unlikely that rogue LL would register for National LL Licensing.
    Those licenced LL would always be liable for inspection by local council housing enforcement teams.
    No good LL would object to having their properties inspected to ensure licence conditions are being adhered to.
    Enforcement action would then be better directed against those LL that are not licenced
    But it seems rogue LL will continue to provide unfair competition if no National LL Licensing scheme is to be introduced.
    Most disappointing!!


    Please go away and come back with verifiable numbers. Broad suggestions like yours are wonderful for councils who can then use them to justify wasting huge amounts of time and and other peoples' money. In this case it will be the tenants'. It probably costs a council £50 to send out two letters. Think staff costs and time. That is very expensive.

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    £50 every 5 yrs, yes I would go with that, no more though, there is no need for it to be any more that that.

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    I wonder why it's now £1'150.00 + £30 per habitual room on top (5 year license), that's just for starters and so many other cost & requirements. I must assume if that's not too presumptuous of me that you haven't seen their Schedules, be careful what you wish for its a nightmare.


    But that's for an HMO licence isn't it, I don't have any HMOs and don't want any.

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    • 08 November 2019 15:28 PM

    Nope a licence would be for a whole property no matter how many AST in the property.
    There may need to be a sub-licence for HMO with individual AST.
    Even if £50 per room not really onerous over 5 years.
    Any HMO licensed or otherwise with one AST would just require one property licence.
    Any LL changing to individual AST would need to licence each room.
    But potentially if not desirable then no licence may be required for an AST.
    It is more the property is in a good state rather than the types of tenancy tenure at the property.
    Of course such National Licensing would have to include the mandatory requirements and possibly the Additional Licensing as well.
    But the basic concept of every rental property requiring a licence is a good one.
    It is a fairly black and white issue.
    The rental property either has or hasn't got a licence.
    If it hasn't then it can't be let until it has.

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    The license is only the tip of the iceberg , it's not like a TV license where you pay for the license and that's it. There will be thousands of £'s unexpected costs plus ripping your property apart to install all the requirements and with Tenants in place plus every available room / space packed with their belongings good luck with that.

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    • 08 November 2019 16:47 PM

    Well properties have to meet relevant licence requirements.
    It is whether such licence requirements would be reasonable.
    But it is all academic so not really worth bothered about as Govt has stated they AREN'T going to introduce a LL licence scheme.

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    Guess what? Under the yoke of the SNP "government" Scotland already insists ALL landlords are registered. It's not that expensive per property but on checking the website, many properties are still rented out without the landlords being registered. It's very easy to check online, but does any Council or other official ever do so? I doubt it, but come any disaster involving an unregistered flat all decent landlords will be hit by more onerous legislation and rogue landlords will continue to flout the law.

    • 09 November 2019 00:10 AM

    I'm surprised that these unregistered LL are not being prosecuted.
    How hard can it be to check RM; Zoopla etc to detect all listings without a licence number!?


    Hi Robert.
    I share your frustration!!!
    We have the same situation here in Wales, with a licensing authority that are not proactive in chasing rogue landlords.
    I know where they are and have told them that it is not difficult to isolate areas of concern.
    However, I am aware that political correctness and fear of discrimination often precludes any action that needs to be taken.

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    Well property to meet relevant standards sounds fine but reality is very different the houses were build long before those regulations introduced, so that hit the nail on the head and means 90% of existing stock don't comply. That said they are still very good houses and well constructed with masonry walls beneath slate or tile roof, unlike modern flimsy studded polystyrene /poly foam insulation wall construction of today by the million & seldom anything else. Its a bit like telling a car manufacture the car you already built don't comply with the regulations I just invented can you take it apart & re-build to comply but don't worry about the cost you can pay for that with the money you don't have.

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    Common sense seems to be two words that have been omitted from society?

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    I think John has just hit nail on head '' fear of discrimination'' that's local and central government for you.

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    public sector are parasites

    • 10 November 2019 10:57 AM

    However in an ideal world I would like to see all those who qualify for HB be in social housing at social rents.
    This would leave the PRS for all those that can't or won't ever qualify.

    Yes it would mean billions being invested in social housing.
    But there would be payback over a period due to lower HB being paid out due to lower social rents.
    The PRS really has no business letting to those who should be in social housing.
    It should be the council that deals with the mostly socially dysfunctional HB types.
    Private LL should really not be wasting their time on such tenants..
    Let the State manage the dross of society.
    LL should be requiring quality tenants who pay their rent and conform to their tenancy conditions.
    RTB has been an unmitigated disaster.
    The socially disadvantaged need to be supported by the State.
    It is just one of those things.
    I resent having to pay for social housing but much as I dislike doing so I recognise that some citizens are so socially dysfunctional that they need substantial State support
    For the good of society I consider the lower orders cannot be ignored and must be supported
    It must be the right thing to do irrespective of the cost.

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    • 10 November 2019 10:36 AM

    As has been alluded to and which I will state exactly as it is..
    The vast majority of rogue LL are not white indigenous British.

    It is usually the culture of the non-white British citizen to engage in LL malpractice.
    I don't see cracking down on this demographic as racist.
    If a certain demographic has the propensity to engage in illegal and sub-standard lettings then surely it is IRRELEVANT what culture they harken from.
    The law of the land should be applied equally.
    I would suggest it ISN'T even a matter colour.
    This as I consider far more LL malpractice occurs with white East Europeans.
    These are less easy to identify as they tend to mix in with white communities.
    This makes targeting them a lot harder and of course many tenants conspire to acquiesce to these appalling conditions as that is the only way they can afford to be in UK.
    It is a simple fact that without criminal LL there would be millions of homeless tenants.
    That if course doesn't make it right.
    It is just a reality that good LL have to compete with.


    The law of the land should be applied equally, sadly it regularly is not .


    Forget the idea that these foreign landlords are bad landlords. They are just working the way they do back home. The big difference is the weather. What works in a subtropical clime will not work in the UK in February. Should these people be in the UK at all is the question I would like to be considered as would foreign ownership of UK domestic letting property?

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    Why would anyone want all LL's to be registered, does that include already HM0 registered licensed holders. Brent is now Borough wide as I understand it, so don't any LL out there think it's optional but only include half the LL's as we have total Discrimination against LL's who comply, the other half are milking the system in cahoots with local Authorities, all and everyone who are family connected is fine by them, maybe a dozen in the property, no license required, whats that got to do with anything the LL that is renting to them should have to comply with the same Regulation as everyone else, it's utter nonsense. It doesn't take much working out the people in Civic Centers & Government departments who are making those rules are looking after their own but must not think such a thing so I digress. The other thing not much talked about is the £1,billion spent this last year putting people up in temporary accommodation, now that the Tenants can't use Section 21 anymore to get housed by the Council, the real reason of course that Government wanted to be rid of S,21 but try to blame us (cowards). The huge increase in the cost of temporary accommodation is a direct result of this move, sure we all know that if S,21 can't be used to get housed this is the new stepping stone for them to get Council Housing, it's a prelude to Council housing.


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