Landlords welcome no more red tape
The Government’s promise of “no more red tape” for private landlords has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords’ Association as “a promising start to a more positive relationship between coalition ministers and the private rented sector.”
The Government promise came as housing minister Grant Shapps assured landlords in the UK’s private rented sector that there are no plans to introduce new regulations and legislation.
That compares with Labour’s plans to introduce a national register of landlords, compulsory written tenancy agreements, increased regulation for letting and managing agents and a raft of other threats to one of the country’s most affordable public housing stocks.
The Residential Landlords’ Association made its feelings known to Grant Shapps during his period in opposition and, says RLA chairman Alan Ward, “we are delighted to have spoken to a politician who listens to common sense and can see the logic behind our honestly held opinions.”
More than two years ago the RLA appealed for a moratorium for a “beleaguered” private rented sector that was groaning under “a barrage of legislation”.
Mr Ward said: “We made the point that there were already legal powers in place to deal with the sort of issues that the Labour government was planning to address with even more legislation.
“The responsibilities of landlords are already controlled and the rights of tenants adequately protected and most of the country’s three million private tenants have declared they are satisfied with the service they receive from their landlords.
“The previous government encouraged councils to achieve targets by licensing the wellmeaning majority of landlords who were already compliant with regulations. “Significantly, they achieved very little for tenants of poor quality, non-compliant landlords.
“Our argument is more strongly in favour of accreditation and self-regulation – where landlords work with local authorities to improve standards of professionalism and get rid of noncompliant landlords who tend to discredit the whole sector with property and conduct that are well below the code of practice we work to.”
Mr Shapps said in his announcement: “I make a promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants. But for the bad landlords, I am putting councils on alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected.”
The RLA is the leading national organisation whose members own over 100,000 properties in the UK’s private rented sector. The range of members’ services – on www.rla.org.uk - includes advice, insurance, financial services, credit referencing and training.