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MP introducing measure to crack down on criminal landlords

RLA
Written by RLA

A senior Member of Parliament is today introducing a Bill that will make it much easier for authorities to identify criminal landlords. The measure being introduced to parliament by the Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, Dame Angela Watkinson, would require tenants to provide details of their landlord on council tax registration forms…

A senior Member of Parliament is today introducing a Bill that will make it much easier for authorities to identify criminal landlords. 

The measure being introduced to parliament by the Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, Dame Angela Watkinson, would require tenants to provide details of their landlord on council tax registration forms.

Under the current law, when new occupants move into a house they are obliged to notify their local authority to establish council tax payments. Nowhere on the form does it ask the tenure of the property or, where it is rented, who the landlord is and what their contact details are.

The Draft Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) 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.

Where a tenant is unable to identify their landlord this would provide local authorities with a signal that there may be deliberate evasion and they will be able take appropriate action through identifying the owner of the property through the Land Registry.

This was a key proposal made by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) in its manifesto for the private rented sector and it is calling on the Government and MPs to support this measure.

Commenting, Dame Angela Watkinson MP said that “the draft Bill has already been welcomed by the Citizens Advice Bureau and has cross Party support.”

Responding, Alan Ward, Chairman of the RLA said:

“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.”

Further Information
  • 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 .
  • Photo taken from UK Parliament Flickr account – permanent link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uk_parliament/2701153820/in/album-72157606360378346/

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.

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  • Another means to provide more information to the Council and other authorities to use, abuse against the citizen while the parasites at the Council remain unchecked with their incompetence, waste, kick backs.

    For the 5% of bad apples the 95% has to suffer. while the Council could not be bothered to take action within the existing legislations.

    New, excuse for not doing and sitting on their arse is the cuts. SAck all of them & start again.

  • How useful. There is a problem with the party wall on the roof of my rental property. The adjacent house is rented too but I have been unable to get contact details for the landlord, in order to share the cost. I suspect the tenants don’t want him/her to see inside the house. As I have just evicted the tenants from hell, I have experience to back up this theory.

  • I fully agree with AB that if you’re an excellent landlord you have nothing to worry about. I also agree with Sheila Cox, that if you have a problem involving your neighbour’s building or roof etc, you need to be able to contact the Council to find out the neighbour’s contact details.
    I think Shak is a bit of a drama queen.

  • I have to say, I am more than happy for the council to have my details if it helps catch the crooked 5% of landlords who need catching, I have nothing at all to hide and I fully support this change. Anything that helps the tenant hold their landlord to account is a good thing.

  • for all the talk of criminal landlords ( a horrible word anyway…owner might be more appropriate as few of us own land per se.)…how many have been prosecuted for what offences? I’ll bet the worst offenders are within the very communities that make the most noise about equality and fairness…..yet still HOIW MANY Successful prosecutions have been achieved? Ill bet its a lot less than 1 percent of all tenancies…..so the problem is miniscule and blown out of all proportion for political gain.

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