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.

Property managers

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.

Rent-to-rent regulation

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.

Read the RoPA proposals in full.
More about Rent Smart Wales.


  1. In 2015 I wrote a spoof article on my my blog with predictions for the future of private landlords.

    Amongst other things, it predicted that by 2019, landlords would be forced to pay for regular five year Psychological Assessments for Landlords (PALs). Landlords who failed the PALs would be forced to carry a placard saying ‘I AM A LANDLORD AND I AM AN UNFIT PERSON’, during which time official members of Generation Rent would be allowed to beat them with rolled up wet copies of The Guardian.

    A new QUANGO would be formed to oversee all landlord regulation, called the Bureau for the Administration of Landlord Legislation and Supervision, or BALLS for short.

    We seem to be getting there…

  2. This constant “nannying” of the private rental sector will doubtless lead to less landlords, less rental accommodation and higher rents for tenants.
    When will politicians learn that most landlords are decent people offering a much-needed service, and not a bunch of penny-pinching crooks who rent out cold, damp cupboards for people to live in.
    The end result will be a total mess, lack of accommodation and less income for the government…

  3. Increasing the cost of doing business for 100% of landlords when less than 5% are the problem is plain idiotic. And it won’t solve the issue of rogue landlords. If licensing put a stop to unlawful practices there would be no speeding, no running red lights, no dangerous driving or any other traffic volitions. These rogue landlords already operate outside the law and will continue to do so, only with a license and it would be naïve to believe otherwise.

    99% of this country’s genuine, wide-spread health/safety/welfare issues have been solved, but these people peddling more interference would be out of a job if they acknowledged their work was done, so they keep on pressing legislation to deal with increasingly niche issues where the cost/benefit ratio is becoming ridiculously out of kilter. Meantime, we’ll just keep adding the cost of all this to the rents we charge. You have to wonder whose side these legislators are on.

  4. I think regulation and compliance is a necessity when you have elements of the industry that are rogue and licensing is definitely coming in, as not only do you have endangered lives with unregulated scenarios but you also have lost revenue as far as the Inland Revenue concerned, tax evasion only hurts the industry and costs the rest of the genuine professional landlords.
    In my opinion all properties including independent landlords should all be licensed as it makes total sense all round, it would also aid deposit transportation with ease, so to enable the pass-porting of all their normal activities, such as tenant utilities, address notification changes for all tenant DDM or memberships as well as deposits
    It’s shocking how long it’s taken to realise the above and I am a professional landlord as it is one of my commercial activities
    Lastly, I think the independent landlords are the highest risk of perhaps putting life’s in danger and should be the first on the register for licensing and compliance


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here