Regulation and Enforcement

National housing body would do little to tackle crooks

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

A new survey by Citizens Advice claims the PRS is suffering from ‘weak regulation’, and has asked for a national housing body for private renting to set standards.

Under the charity’s proposals the body would create a home “MOT” and set a “fit-and-proper-person” test for landlords as well as standardising rental contracts.

Its report ‘Getting the House in Order’ claims ‘many landlords don’t know or understand their legal obligations’, with renters either unaware of their rights or feeling they are unable to enforce them.

The RLA argues it is not the regulations that are weak, but enforcement and believes such a body is unnecessary, with a raft of laws protecting tenants already in existence.

David Smith, RLA policy director said: “There are already well over 150 laws containing 400 regulations affecting the private rented sector. 

“The powers are already there for councils to tackle and root out criminal landlords who cause misery for their tenants. 

“What is lacking are both the will and the resources to properly use them. We fail to see how establishing a new body of this kind will help to address this.”

To read the full Citizens Advice report click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

1 Comment

  • I do wish one of these bodies would tackle criminal tenants! The Citizen’s Advice Bureau gave advice to a non-paying tenant of ours who refused to make a new claim for Universal Credit housing allowance to replace Housing Benefit which her now-jailed partner had been receiving. The woman was by this time £4000 in arrears, so we began eviction proceedings. The CAB apparently advised her to ‘stay put’. This meant a Court Order and eventually a Bailiff were required to shift her (by this time she was over £6000 in arrears, and as well as paying the mortgage, we had to find over £400 for the legal costs). She got herself out ten minutes before the Bailiff arrived, leaving us with all the filth and rubbish (and used heroin needles) to clear up. Thanks a bunch, CAB!!!

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