Real estate chiefs react to rental reforms as government eyes landlord register for England
England has edged one step closer to a national landlords’ register after the government’s levelling up white paper confirmed a consultation on the matter yesterday.
All homes in the private rented sector will have to meet a new minimum ‘decent homes’ standard while section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished.
David Reed, operations director at estate agent Antony Roberts said while a register “sounds good-spirited”, the jury was out on whether it would help.
He added: “The construct of this and qualifying grounds/legal process for ultimate entry may take a long time to reach, if at all.
“The underlying principle is that good landlords will act properly anyway, being conscious of their duties. “
Landlords are required to register with authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Reed warned the net result could be “very limited” due to bad landlords’ ignoring legal protections.”
“Meanwhile, the ‘rogues’ at the extremes will have as much regard for this as they presently do for the raft of statutory measures that are currently in place,” he added.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at estate agents’ body Propertymark, said “additional standards are meaningless unless they are enforced.”
“What’s key for ‘levelling up’ the private rented sector is ensuring that local authorities have the staff and resources needed to actively go out, inspect properties and prosecute,” Douglas added.
Under government plans, all homes in the private rented sector will have to meet a new minimum ‘decent homes’ standard while section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished.
Estate agents were keen to know what will replace section 12 “to maintain confidence in the market for landlords,” Douglas said.
The body wants government to “strengthen all grounds for possession and make them all mandatory.”
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) said the decent homes standard at present was “not the right vehicle” to ensure all rented properties were safe and secure.
He added: “At present, this standard, designed for the social rented sector, does not reflect many of the differences between it and the private rented sector.