Rented sector faces "regulatory overload"
One of the country’s leading bodies representing private sector landlords has today warned that the sector faces “gross regulatory overload” that serves only to drive up rents at a time when tenants can least afford it.
As part of an analysis of the cost of regulations on the sector, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has identified over 100 individual pieces of legislation and regulation containing around 400 individual measures affecting the sector.
With much talk about whether there is too much regulation, the RLA’s investigation was surprising for the sheer volume of regulations affecting the way landlords conduct their businesses day to day.” The RLA now has evidence to show the impact on landlords as well as tenants of the high number of these various legal issues,” said Richard Jones, RLA Policy Director.
Amongst the measures is legislation going back to the 1730s, such as the 1730 Landlord and Tenant Act, allowing landlords to require tenants to pay double the yearly value where they stay on after expiry of a fixed term lease; and the Distress for Rent Act 1737, regarding provision for landlords where tenants desert premises, and obliging tenants remaining in premises after they give notice to quit to pay double rent.
The findings come following warnings in a report on the private rented sector by Professor Michael Ball which demonstrate that the cost of regulation is invariably passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents. The RLA will now cost out these measures to give an idea of how much extra tenants have to pay as a result. It will also use the list as part of its training and education programme to make landlords more aware of what is involved in renting out properties.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Jones said:
“The RLA’s findings clearly show that the private rented sector is facing
“Whilst the RLA will consider carefully the list of regulations and those which should rightly remain to protect landlords and tenants alike, already over-stretched local authorities cannot be expected to police all these, and more, regulations, as called for by some. You can pass as many laws as you want but the key issue is actually enforcing them.
“With a supply crisis in the private rented sector we must do more to make investing in it attractive for potential new landlords. Faced with such regulation, it is little wonder that many simply do not feel up to it.
“We would urge the Government to seriously look at those regulations that could be scrapped altogether without harming tenants’ or landlords’ interests.
“A good start would be to promote the virtues of self-regulated accreditation schemes, such as that run successfully by the RLA in Leeds. This would then enable local councils to better use finite resources to root out those landlords who provide a criminal service.”
The RLA represents over 15,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales.
A full list of the regulations is available on request.
For further information please contact the RLA’s consultant, Ed Jacobs on 0113 278 0211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Alan Ward on 07764310325 or email email@example.com.