Responding to Ed Miliband’s call for a national register of landlords, Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said, “When in office,Labour estimated the cost of a national register of landlords to be £300 million and its own impact assessment described full licencing as “onerous, difficult to enforce and costly”. Imposing such a charge on the private rented sector would amount to a further tax on landlords and tenants when we need more homes and people across the country are feeling squeezed.
“According to figures from Shelter, just 487 landlords in England were prosecuted last year; a figure that is remarkably low out of an estimated 1.2 million landlords in total. This is despite there being 100 individual pieces of legislation and regulations containing around 400 individual measures affecting the sector. The problem is not a lack of powers, but the willingness and ability of local authorities to enforce their existing powers whilst under financial pressure.
“The RLA is calling on all parties to support local authorities to improve the skills available to environmental health officers to more swiftly bring prosecutions against the minority of criminal landlords who bring misery to tenants lives. Accreditation schemes would enable councils to better target those who operate under the radar.”
Alan continued, “Whilst we support Ed Milliband’s calls for the regulation of lettings agents, which would be good for landlords and tenants alike, it is scaremongering to talk of families being kicked out with two months’ notice. A landlord would rather have a reliable tenant paying rent than face the costs of finding new tenants.”