The Labour party has released details of another policy review on the private rented sector (PRS) which requires consultation and debate.
The review – ‘Improving standards for all’ – considers a number of key options, including:
A NATIONAL REGISTER OF PRIVATE LANDLORDS
According to Labour the register will be, “…Designed to assist local authorities to identify private landlords and to assist in the distribution of information to, and communication with, landlords. We will also consult on how the register might be used to assist in ensuring landlords meet their tax obligations. HMRC has measured that buy-to-let and other private landlords are evading over half a billion pounds in tax due on their rental income.
A NEW NATIONAL PRIVATE RENTED PROPERTY STANDARD
According to Labour the register will be, “…Designed to drive up standards across the sector, this new benchmarking system would include current minimum legal standards for instance on deposit protection and energy efficiency requirements and also other measures including on property conditions and commitments on response times and repairs.”
Labour claims, “…Local Authorities feel that there is too much bureaucracy and red tape in their way if they want to step in and protect tenants, good landlords and their wider communities by introducing selective licensing. For these reasons, we will review the conditions through which local authorities can establish a licensing scheme. This could include liberalising the conditions from the current tests to where introducing licensing would improve the local environment through improved property management; provide significantly more good quality properties that are professionally managed for those renting; and reduce anti-social behaviour.
TOUGHER SANCTIONS FOR BAD LANDLORDS
Labour states, “We want to ensure that operating as a bad landlord does not pay. That’s why we will look at the level of penalties including sentencing guidelines. We will also assess, together with the industry, how we can stamp out the process of retaliatory eviction. And we will explore landlords found of serious criminal behaviour being removed from the National Register of Private Landlords and no longer, therefore, being able to operate as a landlord.”
The review comes hot on the heels of a similar consultation by the Labour Party which is still receiving submissions from interested parties.
The RLA had asked members for their take on the first consultation, concerning the future of PRS policy and regulation.
Now, the RLA and members are now considering a response to Labour’s newest policy review. As with the previous document, the association is committed to providing members with a platform to respond to proposed reforms, but with two responses in a short period of time prolongs the process.
Whilst the RLA is concerned at the seemingly disjointed and ad hoc nature of Labour’s consultation, the association is keen to engage with Labour over proposed measures to ensure that the result will see benefits for both tenant and landlord.
READ MORE/GET INVOLVED
- The RLA asked members at the end of April for their views on the initial policy paper.
- View the Policy Reform document that Labour released at the end of May.
- Let the RLAknow what you think about Labour’s proposals by leaving a comment below.