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Outdated! Some rental regulations date back to 18th century

Some laws underpinning the private rented sector date back to the 18th century and are no longer fit for purposes, according to the NRLA trade body.

The National Residential Landlords Association’s analysis claims that by the time the forthcoming Building Safety Bill is given Royal Assent, the number of statutory provisions applying to the sector in England will have risen by 40 per cent over the last decade to 168 pieces of legislation. 

This includes the Landlord and Tenant Act 1730 and the Distress for Rent Act 1737.


The association is warning that far from the private rented sector being under-regulated, the sheer number of laws means councils are unable to enforce them properly.

Data obtained by one of the NRLA’s predecessor organisations found that in 2017/18, 89 per cent of local authorities reported issuing no civil penalties against private landlords. Over half said they did not have a civil penalty policy in place.

With the government pledged to develop a new White Paper on the private rented sector in the autumn, the NRLA is calling for a full assessment of the ability of councils to enforce the wide range of powers already available to them. 

It is warning that proposals to improve the sector for tenants and responsible landlords will be critically undermined if regulations cannot be enforced properly, which would serve only to help those providing sub-standard accommodation.



The NRLA is also calling for a full review by the Law Commission of the current laws applying to the sector to establish if they are fit for purpose, and to propose updated and potentially consolidated legislation fit for the 21st century.

“The laws underpinning the private rented sector are not fit for purpose. They are failing to protect responsible landlords and tenants from the actions of those who bring the sector into disrepute” says Ben Beadle, association chief executive.

“As ministers consider further reforms it is urgent that we understand the ability of councils to properly enforce these as well as existing regulations. We also need to use this opportunity to ensure laws reflect the realities of a modern private rented sector.”

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    LTA is certainly Outdated, and Unfairly weighted in favour of tenants.
    Perhaps LTA Laws should be revised to make it Landlord friendly for a change!
    Forget being landlord friendly-even allowing a home owner landlord to evict a non paying rogue tenant in fairness, without waiting for nearly a year, losing rent, and incurring high costs in court case against a tenant supported by the local Council, will be a miraculous fairness in LTA laws.

    Landlord & Tenant Act & revisions may as well be re-named ‘Tenant Favouring Act’.
    There is 0% fairness towards PRS LL in LTA.
    There is No protection in LTA/s for LL’s, to protect or recover their hard earned capital assets to evict a rogue, non paying tenant immediately.
    Councils and tenants have too much power against Landlords in NRLA defined ‘outdated’ Tenant Favouring LTA.
    is required in Landlord and Tenant Act.


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