Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive of insurance company the HFIS Group, has called for action to combat the '�murky' end of the rent-to-rent market.
Talking during an video interview with LandlordZONE, Hooker said action was needed to increase transparency within the private rented market so that both tenants and landlords are aware what sub-letting or rent-to-rent arrangement they are knowingly '� or unknowingly '� getting into.
'I think the first step will be to make greater efforts to ensure that landlords understand who they are letting their property to, and ensuring that more robust tenant referencing also weeds out the dodgier renters who may have been involved in illegal sub-letting in the past,'� he said.
'Many landlords are happy to take a guaranteed rent and not get involved directly in the property, but going forward they are going to have to be more careful about that if they don't use one of the more reputable rent-to-rent operators'�
Hooker's comments follow the recent landmark Rakusen vs Jepsen court case during which, as LandlordZONE reported, tenants had pursued a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) from their superior landlord '� i.e. the property owner '� via a Property Tribunal.
But the Supreme Court decided that it was the rent-to-rent company and not the superior landlord who should pay the RRO and that going forward it will be they who must arrange to have a property licenced and face the consequences if they fail to do so.
Hooker added that, although there are many professional letting agencies and niche firms who do rent-to-rent very well and are an ideal solution for their landlords, what needs to be tackled is the unprofessional and sometimes negligent operators, and the illegal sub-letters too.
Although the Government's plans for a property portal expected within the looming Renters' Reform Bill will solve this be requiring all PRS properties and their landlords to be registered, Hooker says more action may be needed to catch the '�real rogues'.
The HFIS Group operates My Deposits, the Property Redress Scheme and several other schemes and is a major provider of landlord insurance.