This year the Residential Landlords’ Association has worked hard to represent private landlords to government. Campaigning and lobbying continues to go from strength to strength. We are determined to make the private rented sector ‘first choice, not second best’. Here are some of this year’s campaigning highlights:
- We told the Home Office that the Immigration Bill would stop landlords collecting rent or gaining possession because it was badly drafted. The Government brought forward a technical amendment…read more
- In Wales, RLA Cymru has explained the problems with Welsh Government’s licensing proposals to all three opposition parties in Wales. The opposition holds exactly half of the seats in the Assembly, and all have now have publicly opposed the Bill.
- Material from the RLA was used extensively to kill off Alan Meale MP’s private members bill on the regulation of landlords.
- Bournemouth council has decided to abandon proposals for selective licensing – RLA argued strongly against the idea.
- We continue to respond directly to all proposed selective licensing schemes across England and Wales.
- The Labour Party have actively sought the RLA’s views and endorsement for its proposals on letting agent regulation, and cited the RLA in its policy documents on this subject.
- Thanks to RLA pressure, water utilities will rely on landlords to inform them of tenant details.
Longer Term Tenancies
- The Welsh Housing Minister, during a recent meeting with RLA director Douglas Haig, wasn’t supportive of the one sided nature of Shelter’s long tenancy term model.
- The recently published ‘Ball Report’, commissioned by the RLA has been requested by the House of Commons to be used as a reference paper for future debates, something which reflects the hard work and compelling nature of RLA campaigning recently.
Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
- DCLG – the Department for Communities and Local Government, headed by Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, referenced the RLA twice in its press releases on tenancy reform, quoting the RLA as having influenced their thinking.
- Article 4 Directions – Professor Ian Cole’s review of Housing Benefits for the DWP has raised concerns about Article 4 Directions contradicting the changes to the Shared Accommodation Rate and the Chair of the LGA’s housing board has admitted in a letter to the RLA that Article 4 Directions “are not fit for purpose and are blunt and costly to use.”
- RLA gave evidence to the DCLG Select Committee, and in its report on the PRS opposed rent controls as an idea.
- Secretary of state Eric Pickles cited RLA briefing in his letter to the Welsh Government on building regulations.
Department for Work and Pensions
- We recently gave oral evidence to the DWP select committee on Universal Credit and housing costs
- We attended the London Assembly on welfare reform and housing and have submitted evidence on behalf of London landlords.
- A number of Assembly Members from all parties have quoted from the RLA’s briefings in debates in the Welsh Assembly.
- We will be giving evidence to the select committee on the Housing Bill currently going through the Assembly.
- The RLA ran successful sessions at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences. We also attended the Conferences as part of the national housing alliance ‘Homes for Britain’ – made up of key influential housing organisations such as the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute for Housing.
- At the Labour Party Conference, Jack Dromey and Hilary Benn expressed their considerable interest in the RLA’s tenancy reform proposals.
Improving information and data on the PRS
- The RLA was invited to join the Valuation Office Agency advisory panel working to improve the government statistics on the PRS.
It has been a busy year as you can see and 2014 promises to get busier as housing continues to feature prominently on the agendas of all political parties ahead of the 2015 general election. The RLA are committed to ensuring that private landlords are represented fairly and the sector is seen as ‘first choice, not second best’. We are looking forward to picking up the momentum of this year in January for an even more successful 2014.