No one has a clear idea how the proposed new national register for property landlords in the UK will work in terms of getting rid of rogue operators, it is claimed.
Landlords from around the country questioned Ian Austin, the government minister with responsibility for the private rented sector at the National Landlords Association about the proposed changes.
The NLA is opposed to a national register as it believes that there is already enough regulation of the letting industry and it will not necessarily help the important issue of rogue operators.
Reputable landlords simply don’t agree with further regulation, said David Salusbury, Chairman of the NLA.
Delegates told the minister that they want to know precisely how a national register would root out rogue operators. ‘I’m not going to duck the issue. It’s in your interests as much as mine that those who bring down your sector are dealt with. But I can’t flick a switch in Whitehall and expect the whole system to change overnight. It’s important we get the legislation right rather than rushing it through,’ Austin said.
Salusbury said it was quite clear that even the government do not know how a landlord register will help ‘find those rogue landlords who work so hard at keeping themselves under the radar.’
He added; ‘It is this small minority which brings the whole private rented sector into disrepute and the NLA is determined to ensure that government measures focus on this and not on over burdening the law abiding majority.’
The NLA is also reminding landlords to take a proper inventory of the furniture and condition in a property at the start of a tenancy or risk taking a financial hit in the future.
With landlords facing increased rental arrears and void periods, the last thing they want is a further drain on their finances, the organisation said, but by not taking a proper inventory at the start of a tenancy landlords are taking risks with their money.
When a tenancy ends, some landlords can find themselves left with damage, cleaning or the cost of replacing furniture and fittings. And if they can’t provide evidence of the state of their property at the start of the tenancy they could end up footing the bill.