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Bill to help target criminal landlords returns to Parliament

RLA
Written by RLA

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 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.

Further Information

About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

7 Comments

  • Certainly sounds like a sensible policy, to help councils identify landlords that perhaps have been brought to there attention but were originally unaware of the “other” properties they may own.
    Such a database will be very helpful to the Housing Standards at Environmental Health Departments.

    That being said – such data is already available at Land Registry – why that data is not used instead of asking tenants to complete a form makes no sense to me.

  • The Bill did not get presented last Friday as was timetabled due to a filibuster by Philip Davies on a parking charges Bill that was also listed that day. Davies spoke for some 90 minutes on hospital parking charges and was timed out at 2-30.

    A date is to be set for a chance to get a Second Reading of Watkinson’s Bill but will come behind other Bills that have already been given a date for their Second Reading

  • Angela Wilkinson made an intervention in the Housing & Planning Bill debate today and said that she intends to submit an amendment to the Bill that will in effect bring into effect the provisions of her draft Bill.

    The Housing & Planning Bill will be voted upon later today

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