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The housing minister has dismissed Labour’s proposals for a national register of landlords to improve standards in the Private Rented Sector.
In response to the proposal in the shadow housing ministers opposition day motion on Wednesday, Mark Prisk said such a register would be ‘both toothless and highly expensive‘ – adding that local authorities already have enough powers to tackle PRS landlords who offer a poor standard of accommodation; such as emergency prohibition orders.
‘We want to ensure that a national register is identified as costly and, to be blunt, probably highly ineffective because the rogues will flout it, much as they do the current law,’ he said. ‘Enforcement is the key.’
Jack Dromey’s motion called on the government to ‘introduce a national register of landlords and empower local authorities to improve standards and deal with rogue landlords‘.
Mr Prisk said: ‘What is clear is that for the majority of law-abiding landlords, such a register… would mean that those who are doing the right thing and are already accredited will have a new, additional burden placed on them.’
Mr Dromey also called for the government to promote longer-term tenancies in the private rented sector. Mr Prisk answered: ‘Institutional investors would positively welcome longer-term tenancies that gave them a steady income stream.
‘We are therefore working to enable the market to develop a fuller range of lease terms that match what tenants and landlords want. The key point is flexibility, not prescriptive regulation.’
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Might be a good way for HMRC to check tax payments. they could pay for it!
What are your views on a national register for rogue landlords?
I would prefer a rtegister of landlords rather than one just for the rogues! A national register COULD be set up with the minimum cost, no more than £10 per landlord, with changes charged at say £5 per change. It would bneed to record only the landlords' names, addresses, contact details and addresses of properties owned. A registration number could be given per landlord to be displayed on each advert, even a postcard in a window. Failure to display the registration could mean an instant fine of one or two month's rent. However experience has shown that the Government of whatever party does not like SIMPLE and EASY, so they will probably charge £100 per landlord and £50 per change and make the information required as complicated as possible.
As for enforcing current legislation, please do. Shelter moans about empty properties etc but how many Empty Dwelling Management Orders have been made since the introduction of the legislation?
Should the government be focusing their attentions on Letting Agents, rather than private landlords?
No thanks, there is enough flak directed at agents from Shelter without the government joining in! In all seriousness any government attention should be focussed on both agents and landlords. If they crack down on agents and agents then pass that on to landlords, some landlords will simply go it alone. There is enough legislation for landlords to comply with at the moment. Making agents add to that would be counter-productive.
Would offering longer-term tenancies and predictable rents enable families to plan their finances more effectively?
At http://www.brpl.co.uk we are occasionally asked, usually by families, if the property is available long-term. This is understandable and usually our answer is (if it is an investment property) that it is an investment property and to the best of our knowledge the owner is in it for the long-term. Obviously we cannot guarantee that since, unlike Institutional Investors, Private Landlords are not immortal. If they die their heirs may wish to sell the assets. Also personal circumstances may change and landlords need to release the capital to fund long-term care for a partner or relative. I am sure others would have different examples so it is not as easy as Mr Dromey (aka Mr Harriet Harperson) would have everyone believe. Landlords are running a business and it makes sense for us to have long-term tenants. I have a couple in one of my properties who have been there for six years and no rent increases. Does Mr Dromey really believe that landlords give tenants notice for the fun of it?
Good. Stupid idea. Give to power to consumers to punish, not flimsy hope rogues will register,.
how about a register for tenants?
how about a register for tenants?
Is that not what LRS IS?
I hope so
I have no concern with the landlords register in scotland for everyone. At the moment is seems to be going well in south ayrshire. It doesnt cost much and at least if there is a landlord in the block of flats that who doesnt comply with other owners, they will search for them and make them register and help. They can also refuse registration if the properties are not up to standard, if caught can be fined up to £5,000. There are laws already in force to tackle rogue landlords but they need to be applied. Maybe this will also help tackle these landlords.
It is easy to register. They also have training meetings.
I had one of my flats inspected as a spot check. The tenants deal with the property enforcer officer. If you have a good flat you have nothing to fear. They inspect the property and make sure all paperwork is in order. Officer love having good properties too.
i also think that we need a register to protect landlords from rogue tenants as well. The coucil as well as landlords should have to put all tenants with rent arrears. no payment of rent should be made a crime.
New legislation was introduced on 1 April 2007 which provides a new structure for the private rented sector in Northern Ireland. The purpose of the new system will reward the efforts of landlords who wish to provide good quality housing for their tenants and remove restrictions which would hamper the development of good quality, privately rented housing. Protected tenants will retain their security of tenure.
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