THE Government has been urged to think strategically in its approach to the private rented sector.
The call was made during a meeting the Residential Landlords Association held last week with the new Minister for the Private Rented Sector, Heather Wheeler MP, alongside other industry groups.
The RLA outlined the importance of joined up working across Whitehall given the changes being introduced from a number of Government departments.
It also pressed hard on the need for a dedicated housing court to give landlords and tenants much greater confidence that when things go wrong access to justice can be much swifter and less expensive. This is crucial for landlords who might be prepared to offer longer tenancies to those who want them but who are fearful of being locked into a tenancy and unable to swiftly regain possession of their property if tenants are failing to pay their rent or are committing anti-social behaviour.
The RLA Policy Director, David Smith, who attended the meeting said:
“We welcome the Minister’s early engagement with the sector and her positive attitude towards supporting the majority of landlords who provide good housing and abide by all their responsibilities.
“It provides a good starting point as the RLA works with the Government to ensure the rental sector is fit for its changing role and works for tenants and landlords.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government told the RLA:
“We are committed to delivering a fairer, good quality and more affordable private rented sector and want to support good landlords and agents to comply with their responsibilities.
“We will be introducing banning orders in April to make it easier for local authorities to act against rogue landlords and agents, we will be requiring all letting agents to meet minimum standards and are consulting with the judiciary on the case for a housing court.
“We are grateful to private rented sector organisations for their constructive input to date and are committed to working with them as this important agenda continues. The Minister looks forward to engaging further with the sector and welcomed the constructive dialogue.”