Landlords in England have been warned that they are only a few years off having to be fully registered and licenced as operators, a leading property industry figure has warned.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of trade association NAEA Propertymark (left) made the comments during a 45-minute webinar that updated his members about the looming Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) legislation.
This will squeeze out rogue lettings and sales agents by requiring firms to be licenced to operate and for agents to attain compulsory minimum levels of qualification before they can do their jobs.
But Hayward also warned that the cross-sector industry Regulator, once established, is to be given the powers to include landlords within the scheme.
He also said that as RoPA stands now, landlords who manage their own properties won’t have to be qualified or licenced even though agents who do the same job will, but that this area of landlord activity would also eventually be ‘professionalised’.
It will take up to three years to get the estate agency sector fully regulated, he said, and that only then this “vast piece of work to identify landlords and work out how they could be regulated” would begin.
Lastly, it was also revealed that ‘rent to rent’ operators – people or companies who landlords sub-let their properties to in return for a guaranteed income – would also be covered by RoPA.
This will be a major departure. Now, anyone can set themselves as a rent-to-rent operator including the many inexperienced people who are urged to do so by so-called ‘property investment guru’ courses.
In only a matter of years they will have to attain a Level 3 NVQ qualification to operate a rent-to-rent scheme, a qualification which would take up to 150 hours to complete and cost between £500 and £600.