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Graham Awards


Mandatory landlord register demanded by Generation Rent activists

The Generation Rent campaign says a mandatory landlord register is necessary - and would have stopped the actions of a rogue landlord who has now been banned for life from letting property again.

In recent days the group tweeted that it was always good to see a criminal get banned from letting a property; accompanying the post was a link to a story about a London landlord who unlawfully let cramped and overcrowded bedsits and then harassed tenants who complained.

He has been fined thousands of pounds and warned he’ll be jailed if he tries to let other properties.


The Generation Rent tweet about the story goes on to claim: “If we had a register of landlords it would be possible to stop these scams before they hurt tenants.”

It goes on to urge the campaign’s supporters to sign a new online petition calling for a mandatory national landlord register.

Generation Rent says: “Right now, nobody knows who owns the 4.5m private rented homes in England. It means thousands of us are living in homes that might not have had the right safety checks.

“The number of us living in private rented homes has grown fast. You don't have to pass a test to become a landlord - all you need is a spare property. 

“Most landlords are small scale operators - 83 per cent have four or fewer properties - and most of those are not part of professional industry bodies or accreditation schemes that can give them support to rent safely.

“That's why we're calling for a national landlord register. It would mean landlords would have to meet certain standards before renting out homes. And renters could check up on their landlord before signing a contract and have somewhere to turn if they're mistreated.


“If all landlords were required to register with a government body, then checks could be made that they were meeting minimum standards.”

You can see Landlord Today's coverage of the case in question here.


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  • icon
    • V OR
    • 06 October 2020 07:12 AM

    have nots want everything for free. majority of landlords are law abiding and provide quality housing. a mandatory licensing scheme will just be more expense which will be passed onto the tenants in rising rents.

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, whatever the business costs are always passed down to the end user, so up go rents yet again, everyone needs somewhere to live, few can afford to buy , councils and housing associations cannot cope with demand.

    • 06 October 2020 14:47 PM

    And as I always say, if anyone causes me increased costs to my business, then like any operation in the world, my prices go up.

    And when they go up, I pass it on to the tenant. And on top, I add a further 15% for my inconvenience.

    In essence then, I love it when the Govt., Local Housing Authorities and any other spurious bodies put pressures on my business for their gain, I make more money......

    So please, please, please keep doing it. And keep it coming as much as you like.

    Indeed, it is not a nuisence, it is my lucky day.

    • 06 October 2020 15:34 PM

    Unfortunately it isn't always possible to just pass down costs.
    Many LL such as you may be able to achive this but the vast majority of LL are unable.
    I increased my rents to cope with S24.
    Having reduced them I no longer have the resources to pay for S24 taxes.
    So now I have to pay S24 from my pension!!

    Increasing costs cannot simply be met by increasing rents.
    Rent increases are hard to achieve.
    It is the LL who suffers reduced income because of these circumstances.

    Mark Wilson

    You might have said but it, but it sounds as flawed and lacking reality as do most of the posts here.


    @ Mark, just go away boy.


    I wonder why you continue to read them then and certainly don't know why you continue to post on this platform!

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    Obviously they are assuming that the "Lawbreaking Landlords" are going to register, which is a bit of a large assumption. But if we must have a LL register surely we should also have a tenants register where every LL can see the Tenants past history of rent payment, bond retention, evictions etc, or does the door not swing both ways?


    Too true, it works both ways and there are far more rogue tenants than rogue landlords, although the proportion of each is still small.


    They dont like when thats mentioned.."its taking away my civil liberties/data protection etc...bla bla bla.


    am not sure the door does swing both ways - mostly bends over backwards in favour of tenants

    • 06 October 2020 14:39 PM

    Well, if a Landlord does not register, then clearly he will not be allowed to rent out his property.

    Or have I missed something?

  • David Lester

    Can I suggest a national Bad Tenant landlord register !


    Yes I totally agree. So Landlords can check tenants out. As they suggest they can check us out. One thing for sure far more rogue tenants than rouge Landlords.

  • Bill Wood

    The assertion that
    "nobody knows who owns the 4.5m private rented homes in England"
    is wrong. The Land Registry knows, and for £3 anyone can make an enquiry and find out. I do this regularly when in need of this knowledge.

    Another thought - maybe us landlords could present a copy of the Land Registry entry to prospective tenants showing them who does own the property. I'll give it some thought.

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    Perhaps a list of Tenants would be a good idea too, soon weed out the non-payers, damage causers etc.

    • 06 October 2020 14:49 PM

    And soon please........

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    Very happy to have a completely licensed sector, as balance though the NRLA should be allowed to keep a register of tenants who don't pay, damage properties etc that we can all check


    Yes let’s do this!

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    David Lester06 October 2020 09:41 AM
    Can I suggest a national Bad Tenant landlord register

    • 06 October 2020 14:26 PM

    Hoorah! - Yes please.......And soon.


    I looked into this some years ago.
    The DPA were helpful and said that tenant personal details were not to be seen by anyone except register members and great care nust be taken when describing payment or problem details.
    A guy from the south setup a register but its now defunct. There was one in NZ ,not sure what happened to it
    After all who pays for the running


    @ Philip, surely the same must apply to landlord details then ? with tenants if I am asked for a reference I will give a good one if deserved , if not I will simply say that I am unable to give a reference in this instance, which should mean don't touch them !

  • girish mehta

    Set up landlords and tenants register , so both party can access the risk. Mandatory eviction in 14 days. Criminal penalties for tenants if they damage the properties .

    Get rid of of section 24 . Reverse tax laws letting as a business. Remove licensing powers from council and bring power for council to mot type test before renting.
    This will stop so call housing groups scaremongering and drive the rouge landlords

    The tenants will end up higher rents as all the cost will go up
    They won’t be able to get services for cheap as it is at moment where landlords are and government is subsiding for their lifestyle.

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    It will be a Register for ex-LL's it all rubbish time to scrap all this nonsense its exactly what the Rogue regulators want, they keep driving the wedge between LL & Tenant further-in.
    Virtually all LL's & Tenants get on just fine we are business partners but the nasty people in Society can't stand that. Hence all the red tape to put them at each others throat.


    90% of the time landlords and tenants get on just fine, first name terms, trouble starts when we get a tenant that thinks it's okay not to pay.

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    In Scotland around 2005 a combination of compulsory landlord registration plus HMO licences for all properties housing more than 2 unrelated adults ( irrespective of size of property) broke the market driven freeze on rents that had been there for 10 to 15 years previously, with increasing capital values driving property investment during that fallow period.

    Since then, with those changes plus the December 2017 legislation forbidding landlords and tenants from agreeing mutually acceptable tenancy durations, rents have more than trebled and property values have continued to climb, albeit more gradually, but probably doubling again over those last 15 years.

    Decent landlords have nothing to fear from registration or licensing but decent tenants will foot the bill for placating the leftie envy of a more enterprising section of society.

    • 06 October 2020 15:41 PM

    Had property values not increased and the PRT introduced with the register not being implemented would rents still have trebled?



    I don't know the answer. I remember being pretty frustrated in the early 2000's about rents not being able to rise and cash flow being impacted by the expense of new fire doors, smoke alarms etc. to comply with the new HMO licence requirements along with its cost of around £2000 for the first three year period.

    It was pretty borderline as to whether to sell up and pocket the capital gains or stick with it. I suspect many landlords sold up and the shortage of rental properties helped break the rent freeze log jam.

    I also remember mortgage rates rising during that time until the banking crisis which also helped to keep rents on the rise.

    However the biggest contributor to higher rents was the December 2017 legislation which helped rents to jump by a further 30% virtually overnight, again probably due to landlords pulling out or moving to Airbnb to retain control of who stayed in their properties and when they could be told to leave.

    It also looks like the high density cardboard clad student residences are losing popularity due to their success in incubating and spreading Covid-19, so demand for domestic flats is soaring and rents continue to rise, just a pity I don't have any vacant properties and can't get rid of any currently underpaying tenants, although rent reviews will be on the cards very soon!

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    • 06 October 2020 15:48 PM

    Never thought I'd ever support anything GR stated.

    But on this occasion I totally support GR's aspiration for a LL register.

    I hope they realise it will cause a housing crash for everyone; a run on the banks and a UK depression!!
    Not bad for mortgage free LL not so good for leveraged ones, awful for tenants!!

    Does GR not understand that there are millions of fraudulent tenancies out there!!!??

    There is NO way Govt will ever countenance such a register.
    Even the dopiest Civil Servant can see what would happen to the housing market and the effects on the banks.

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    Rarely do I ever agree with Generation Rent, but on this occasion they are 100% right.
    There are far, far greater number of rogue Landlords than rogue Agents. Uncomfortable fact for many, but it's the real truth. If Agents are legally required to be registered and qualified (see RoPA) then this must be the same for private DIY Landlords too.
    Many Landlords are already reeling from finding out their DIY (non compliance &/or non-evidenced compliance, Tenancy renewal without EICR, etc etc... I could go on) has created a non-Housing Act Tenancy and no right of possession. This industry is desperate for higher professional standards and the landlords that continue to do it 'their way' without far greater knowledge won't survive.
    Yes rents will go up, as standards rise and wages too, with a higher grade of professional demanding greater remuneration.
    We can argue the rights and wrongs but this is the future. With all party approval, I'm afraid it's a fait accompli. Embrace it or just leave the industry - those are the stark choices every Landlord faces today.


    It's not the licencing, I'm sure most if not all on here would be okay there, it's the cost which will be passed on , if not all at once certainly over a period of time.
    There are still some rogue landlords out there and I suspect most of them are in certain parts of London.

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    • 06 October 2020 17:06 PM

    Yep get rid of all licensing and replace with a LL licence.

    For any Mandatory HMO licence then that is within the price of the LL licence.

    I guess in extremis I would accept a LL licence at £1000 for 5 years for any number of properties.
    No other licence costs.
    Any property for let to have a LL licence no.
    No number no letting allowed.
    If every LL paid £1000 every 5 years that would pay for all enforcement activity.

    Any LL attempting to let without a LL licence to be subject to a RRO.

    So then why would LL bother not being licenced if they could lose all the income from criminal lettings?

    Thousands of criminal LL would be out of business.
    Homelessness would massively increase and so would rents as hundreds of thousands of rental properties would be removed from the lettings market.

    But quite frankly no register will happen anytime soon.
    The Govt has more than enough on its plate!!

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    • 06 October 2020 22:02 PM


    So do you support the concept of a National LL Register with NO legal letting allowed unless the LL has a licence no?

    I totally support that idea as a good LL.
    Fraudster LL wouldn't like that.

    Unfortunately that means every LL that has a BTL mortgage which prohibits HB tenants would need to remove the tenants as the LL is in clear breach of the mortgage conditions and no way would the lender LL give CTL.
    If the LL advises the lender that it could take up to two years to evict will the lender allow this or perhaps repossess the property far quicker than the LL can?

    What would the LL status be now that all lenders would know he is in breach of lender conditions!

    Things aren't as simple as they first seem.
    This is why a LL register would bring misery to millions.

    Best to just let sleeping dogs lie.
    There is enough grief occurring currently without adding to it.

    But for the future I believe such a register could greatly eradicate criminal LL.

    Unfortunately now is not the time.

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    A very interesting idea about a LL register but this will not stop bad landlords as they tend to operate off the radar.
    If people want a good rental system then it's simple -
    1. All landlords, including local authorities should be required to keep properties to a certain safety standard.
    2. Tenants should also be on a register. After all if you introduce a tenant into a HMO but they have had issues in the past then this puts others tenants in the property at risk. I've seen this happen a number of times.

    The rental sector needs to be a two way street not pushing the LL all the time as in the long run this will drive many to sell up and take the cash.

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    The information that tenants require to be safe with a landlord and a property (which they do need) is readily available. The government How to Rent leaflet says it all. The prospective tenant can ask to see gas/electricity/EPC certificates etc. They can also check to see if we are members of eg NRLA. In other words the tenants can reference us, just as we reference them. Maybe letting agents or Homelet could do landlord checks for tenants. Don't need a cumbersome licensing system for that

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    I do believe that a register of troublesome tenants should me made available as well, this can not be a onw sided issue !

    • 09 October 2020 09:16 AM

    Totally and 100% correct.


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