Real Estate

Minister reveals latest Government thinking on redress and register for landlords

The government has revealed some of its thinking behind the expected increased regulation of the private rented sector within a written reply to a question in the Lords.

Although both parliaments are in recess Lord Greenhalgh, the government’s housing minister in the Lords, has outlined why Ministers are committed to requiring all private landlords to join a redress scheme, although he has revealed that the government is still ‘exploring’ the merits of introducing a national landlords register in England.

“There are a range of potential benefits that different models of registration could have, which are additional to those served by expanded redress provision,” Greenhalgh replied to Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth.

“These include, but are not limited to, providing local authorities with intelligence on private rented sector properties in their locality, making it easier for private landlords to understand their obligations and helping tenants decide whether to rent a property.

“As part of exploring proposals for introducing a landlord register in England, we are considering how the register could interact with wider commitments for reforming the private rented sector.”

Industry reaction

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Sean Hooker (pictured), who heads up the Property Redress Scheme (PRS), one of the several organisations qualified to take on the job of landlords registration, says: “The best people to deal with this matter are tenants themselves and this is why a mandatory redress process is needed.

“Tenants need a simple, effective, and free way of raising complaints, with a compulsion on the landlord to put things right and consequences if they do not do so. 

“This would also act as a de facto register of rental properties and landlords making it harder for the criminals to hide.
“Yes, it also needs more resources for enforcement, however, this will make it easier for the authorities to target the worst offenders providing an intelligence-led and focused approach to stamping out unfit properties. 

“Redress can also act to educate and assist landlords to comply without the heavy stick of prosecutions and fines.

“A lot of the problems are down to mistakes and ignorance and a complaint resolution service can help landlords learn from the outcomes. 

“We await with anticipation the announcement of the new reforms and hope they bring a coherent and workable strategy to tackle this problem once and for all.”

The PRS has been working with NRLA to set up a redress pilot that has already had a significant take-up by landlords on a voluntary basis.

Source
Minister reveals latest Government thinking on redress and register for landlords is written by Nigel Lewis for www.landlordzone.co.uk

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