The Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) Bill will receive its 2nd Reading on October 30 2015. Introduced by Dame Angela Watkinson, the bill includes RLA proposals to use Council Tax forms to discover rented properties.
The RLA called for the measures within this Bill to be introduced in its manifesto for the private rented sector published before the election.
The manifesto is available at rla.org.uk/manifesto .
RLA Chairman Alan Ward said of the Bill:
“The RLA welcomes and strongly supports Dame Angela’s Bill. This Bill sends a powerful message to criminal landlords that you can run but you cannot hide.
“For too long, a minority of landlords, operating under the radar, have been able to cause misery for their tenants and have been left unchecked by local authorities whose resources are too stretched.
“It will be more effective than a landlord register, or licensing, in identifying rented properties.”
Dame Angela said “This is a very simple Bill and will cost very little to implement. Its purpose is to identify criminal landlords who treat their tenants badly and do not keep their properties in habitable condition. It will be helpful to both tenants and local councils.”
The Bill would enable councils to request details of a property’s tenure and details of the landlord, if a rented property, on council tax registration forms. Tenants are already legally entitled to know the name of the landlord when signing a new tenancy agreement. Through tenants disclosing this to the local authority, it will make it much more difficult for criminal landlords to avoid being identified.
The information collected would also help councils in dealing with other housing related problems such as illegal letting, housing benefit fraud and unregistered houses in multiple occupation, and assist HMRC in seeking the minority of landlords who do not pay their tax.