Research and reports
The full extent of the extra pressure put on landlords in the past decade has been revealed.
In particular, it’s the additional regulation that has taken its toll, with new research suggesting the number of new laws affecting landlords has soared 32 per cent since 2010.
Landlords currently have to deal with a total of 156 pieces of legislation, up from 118.
This increase has, however, failed to drive improvement in enforcement action against criminal landlords. In the case of some councils, they’re not even applying the powers they already have effectively, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Previous research by the RLA found that two thirds of councils had not begun any prosecutions against private landlords.
And 89 per cent of councils admitted to not using powers to issue penalties of up to £30,000 against private landlords for a range of offences.
In addition, more than 53 per cent did not have a policy in place to properly use this power, the RLA said.
The RLA has now called for all political parties in the upcoming general election to commit to improving enforcement of current powers rather than introducing any new legislation.
It’s also calling for licensing schemes for landlords to be scrapped, claiming that the schemes only penalise good landlords and ‘enable criminals to operate under the radar’.
Instead, it says councils need to use the data already available to identify landlords. This includes Council Tax, benefits, tenancy deposits and electoral roll information.
David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Removing criminal landlords from the sector will only be achieved if councils have the resources and the will to properly use the wide range of powers they already have.
“Piling more regulations onto the sector which will continue not to be properly enforced is meaningless and serves only to put off good landlords from providing the homes to rent we need.
“It is time for smarter enforcement, not more regulation,” he concluded.
New legislation that has impacted landlords includes the Tenant Fees Act, which removed the letting agent charges to tenants and saw a cap on tenant deposits.
How has this 32 per cent rise in landlord regulations affected you? Let us know in the comments below.
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