NRLA: Government should focus on enforcing existing rogue landlord legislation

The government needs to assess how councils enforce powers to tackle rogue and criminal landlords, said the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

With the government pledging to publish a White Paper proposing reforms for the private rented sector in England, the NRLA implied that there’s no point in putting in new measures without proper enforcement.

Currently just 43 landlords are listed on a database of rogue landlords in England, despite ministers suggesting that 10,500 rogue landlords operate in the private rented sector.

The number of statutory provisions applying to England has risen by 40% over the last decade to 168 pieces of legislation.

The NRLA said every potential new measure will fail without dealing with the issue of local authorities failing to enforce existing legislation.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We need to address the chronic failure to take action against rogue and criminal landlords.

“It puts tenants at risk and undermines the reputation of the overwhelming majority of landlords who play by the rules. As ministers develop their plans for the sector, they need to be clear whether any of what they propose will be properly enforced.

“More broadly, it is vital that the forthcoming White Paper strikes a fair balance between the needs of both tenants and landlords.

“It is in that spirit that we continue to work with the government and others to develop workable policies that protect tenants from bad landlords whilst ensuring good landlords have the confidence to provide the homes to rent the country desperately needs.”

Figures released by Unchecked UK suggest that between 2009 and 2019 the amount spent on Local Authority Environmental Health Officers in England and Wales fell by around a third.

The NRLA said central government needs to provide upfront, multi-year funding to help local authorities tackle bad practice.

The government plans to end Section 21, so called ‘no fault’ repossessions, as part of the new legislation.

But the landlord association said landlords need to be able to take back possession of properties, to balance the rise of tenant rights.

The NRLA is calling for a new landlord/tenant dispute body, similar to the employment body ACAS, to enable landlords and tenants to reach agreement without the need to go to court.

Where cases do end up in court they must be dealt with more efficiently, making use of video technology wherever possible.

Currently it can take around a year for a legitimate repossession claim to reach a conclusion.

Comments 1

  1. Exactly !!! anyone would think they were the National Residential TENANTS Association !

    There’s far more regulation than required and because L.A.’s don’t focus on the few Rogues, Govt appease pressure groups by passing even more legislation.

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