Environment, Safety and Standards Regulation and Enforcement

Which? report reflects RLA housing court call

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Consumer champion Which? has echoed the RLA’s call for a new housing court in a comprehensive report on PRS reform.

The report ‘Reform of the private rental sector: the consumer view’, sees Which? call for a programme of reform ‘to bring the rental sector up to the standards required in the 21st Century’.

The report says: “There needs to be a step change in the quality and choice of accommodation available, and in the service provided by letting agents, supported by meaningful regulation and a system of redress that empowers consumers while providing support to good landlords. A piecemeal approach to reform is not enough.”

The RLA has long campaigned for housing to be higher on the Government’s list of priorities and has been critical of the lack of joined up strategy and piecemeal approach to regulation – which is helping neither landlords or tenants.

Indeed the association is quoted in the 60-page report which refers to the complex regulatory landscape, which includes over 140 Acts of Parliament and more than 400 regulations affecting landlords in the private rented sector.

Which? said many tenants have positive experiences of renting, but concluded: “It appears that both tenants and landlords have been left badly served by a confusing policy and regulatory landscape and a weak enforcement regime.”

The consumer charity which surveyed landlords and tenants on their experiences, has now come up with a set of key recommendations for the sector

While the RLA does not agree with all of these proposals – for example the call for national registration, which it believes is unnecessary – there are a number of plans which dovetail with RLA campaign work.

These include calls for the availability of longer tenancies, a new housing court, and deposit passporting, issues the RLA has been working on for some time.

Find out more:

To read the Which? report and view the survey findings in full click here.

“Tenants, or consumers – the way ahead” is one of the key agenda items at the RLA’s next Future Renting conference in London this September. Property Ombudsman, Katrine Sporle CBE will join a panel of experts to discuss everything from the Government’s plans to force landlords to join a redress scheme, the tenants’ fee banFitness for Human Habitation Bill, and other proposals to introduce more consumer protection for tenants. For more information and to book tickets click here.

Let us know what you think about the Which? proposals in the comments section below.

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.

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