A cross party group of MPs and Peers is today calling for a full scale review of all regulations affecting the private rented sector.
The recommendation is just one of many contained within a report on how to regulate the sector published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector.
With the sector having over taken the social rented sector in size and still growing, the Group believes that the regulatory regime governing it needs a fundamental review to determine whether it is fit for purpose, is enforceable and to understand the impact it has on investment in the sector.
Among other recommendations, the report also calls for:
Where a landlord is found to have wilfully breached their legal obligations and failed to rectify the problem, they should be subject to a nationwide banning order, similar to that used for company directors that prevents them from renting properties.
The Sentencing Council to provide clear guidance to the courts on the tools available in responding to breaches of the law as they relate to private rented housing.
A review of the data sets on safety in the private rented sector to provide more detailed information on the nature of safety hazards in rented housing.
The Office for Fair Trading should be given the powers to order out of the market any letting agents found to be behaving inappropriately or abusing their position. It is an anomaly that the OfT enjoys such powers over estate agents but not letting agents.
Publishing the report, the Group’s Chairman, Oliver Colvile MP said:
“Given the growing importance of the private rented sector it is important that consideration is given to how it should be run to provide sufficient protection to tenants and support and encourage the majority of good landlords whilst rooting out those who reap misery for tenants.
“Today’s report provides a number of ideas to ensure that the sector is fit for the 21st century and the Group hopes and looks forward to all political parties giving serious consideration to this detailed work.”
The secretariat to the APPG for the Private Rented Sector is provided by the Residential Landlords Association.
A full copy of the report can be accessed at Report 21 here: www.landlordzone.co.uk/property-reports or at: