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Half of councils don't talk to local landlords, probe reveals

local landlord forums

A lack of council-organised landlord gatherings could hamper the Renters Reform Bill’s ambitions, according to Propertymark.

It argues that the legislation cannot succeed without proper engagement from landlords and letting agents but that its Freedom of Information request discovered how 52% of local authorities in England have not had a landlord forum since 2021.

Forums are a way for local authorities to engage with landlords and property agents about new legislation, share best practice and receive feedback on national and local issues impacting the private rental sector.

Propertymark has written to Housing Minister Jacob Young to stress the importance of giving local authorities the resources to hold these forums and pressing him to encourage councils to organise them.

Succeed

Last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector warned that PRS reforms cannot succeed without adequate resources to guarantee they can be enforced.

Cross-party MPs and peers also noted that local authorities might not have the capacity to enforce reforms without a substantial boost in resources. Of particular concern was scrapping Section 21, as it was not clear whether responsible tenants and landlords could defend their rights in an inadequately resourced courts system.

Propertymark believes that local authorities must engage with landlords and consider specific engagement with property agents, otherwise the legislation will not have the intended impact.

Tim Thomas (pictured), policy and campaigns officer, says: “English local authorities must hold more forums with letting agents and landlords.

"The proposals in the Renters Reform Bill will bring substantial change to the private rented sector, but the legislation will only succeed if local authorities are provided with sufficient resources to engage with letting agents and landlords.”

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