LandlordZONE has published hundreds of stories in recent years about efforts across the sector to reign-in rogue landlords.
They are a small group who, even the government admits, compromises at most 10,000 people or 0.4% of the UK’s 2.6 million landlords.
But they generate a disproportionate number of headlines in comparison with their size, usually when they are found to be running illegal HMOs, contravening selective licensing regulations or being fined for dangerous or substandard properties.
Looking at the LandlordZONE forums, emails from our readers and the comments below our articles about these cases, it’s clear some landlords feel frustrated that good operators rarely get much publicity in the media.
They also feel that the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), and other property industry trade associations, expend too much effort laying into this minority of rogue landlords and too little targeting the ‘nightmare tenants’ who wilfully damage properties, avoid paying rent or run circles around the evictions process.
Or in some cases all three – as we often highlight including, earlier this summer, the case of Lilyana Markova.
After all, the government has set up a national rogue landlord database and is also planning to bring in a landlord redress scheme to enable tenants to gain compensation or action when their landlord falls short of minimum standards.
But what about a rogue tenants database for the sizeable community criminal renters and fraudsters who prowl the PRS, many landlords ask.
As reader Gtim put it recently: “Why is the NRLA not pushing for a more balanced legislative changes; how about a national tenant register to stop rogue tenants from moving from house to house leaving a trail of destruction whilst living cost free.”
I put these points to the NRLA. It’s spokesperson has told me in response, that: “Criminal and rogue tenants need to be tackled just as urgently as criminal and rogue landlords and our plans deal with this.
“The NRLA team works day-in-day-out to assist landlords in dealing with challenging tenants, and the harm that they can cause.
“That is why throughout the pandemic we have worked strenuously to ensure that enforcement action could still be taken against anti-social tenants.
“Our proposals for the forthcoming rental reform white paper include calls for an enhanced set of rights and practical tools for landlords to resolve disputes and legitimately repossess properties, as well as improvements to the court system to ensure possession cases can be heard more swiftly and effectively than at present.”