We don’t need no regulation…

Chris Norris NLA Policy Manager

Pickles, Shapps and the rest of the team took their seats on the coveted green benches to the Speaker’s right for their first stab at Communities’ Question Time today.

Normally a fairly dull affair, this session proved interesting, not only because it is quite obvious that most of the newly elected MPs haven’t found their feet yet, but also because the new Housing Minister used the opportunity to announce his intentions for the private-rented sector. Hold on to your hats…

Following a false start (or two) by his Secretary of State, Mr Shapps told the House that his key objective for the PRS is to ensure that there is a balance between the rights of tenants and landlords.

Fortunately, as he’s quite happy with the balance offered by current laws this means that the Department do not plan a great many changes.

Of proposals announced by his predecessor, Mr Shapps waved goodbye to;  the National Register of Landlords, regulation of letting and managing agents, and compulsory written tenancy agreements.

Complementing the sector in a supporting statement on the CLG website, he went on to say:

“With the vast majority of England’s three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.”

The Minister categorically ruled out continuing with the previous government’s programme of additional regulation.

Although, in line with the spirit of localism, he did confirm that consent for local selective and additional licensing schemes  would not be revoked.

In a separate letter to the NLA, Mr Shapps has also confirmed that the Government will review the planning rules for HMOs (brought in hastily before the election) to ensure the planning system is “tailored to local circumstances” rather than imposed where no regulation is needed.
All in all, not bad for a day’s work…

13 thoughts on “We don’t need no regulation…

  1. Er, yes we do. Tenants, that is. This is a big step back, although possibly consistent with the government’s previously announced ambition to encourage people into home-ownership.

  2. Good it was all part of the socialist plan to hold data on every part of our lives. Like the HIPS, the regisration of gas work, plumbingwork,electrics and double glazing. And lots lots more. So that local councils can put up the council tax for improvments to the properties.

  3. Some common sense at last. There are good landlords and bad landlords – so why penalise the good guys with more cost and more bureaucracy?

    If Councils want to do something about landlords who don’t manage their properties and tenants properly, that’s fine: let them do so. But I run my business properly so please leave me alone and don’t expect me to foot the bill for sorting out people who don’t.

  4. Good news, just more red tape. Having your name on a register doesn’t make you a better landlord. If something like this were to ever happen, then it would need certification of having passed a course or something. I do think however that the estate agents need to be regulated

  5. About time common sense prevailed Good Landlords are sick to the teeth of been screwed in the ground by councils and their red tape , nosy parking ,and charging colossal fees for hmo licences and where does this money go!!!!!

    How are councils seeking out landlords who do not have licences
    All landlords ever hear is about the code of conduct and responsibility for landlords
    What about a similar code of conduct and responsibility for tennants

  6. Less regulation must be a step in the right direction. All defaults by landlords, agents and tenants should be dealt with on individual basis by local authorities with the existing powers that they have. Stop beating the good guys to pay for the bad guys who still fall under the radar.

    Any news of LHA choice of payee yet?

  7. Wini has hit on the point of having a code for tenants. Middlesbrough & Hartlepool Councils are running a Tenant Passport Scheme whereby the tenant has to be checked by the council and then issued with a passport indicating his status i.e. red amber or green. The council have access to police checks etc. beyond landlords’ reach. It puts an onus on the tenant to apply for his passport before applying for your property and ultimately only good tenants will get tenancies. Tell your own local authorities about this and we can build a national register of tenants.

  8. I never let a room to a tennant without always asking for a copy of their pasport /visa and anyone who wants a room urgent, today ,there is always a good reason for the swift move (usually non payment of rent to some landlord,being disruptive and abusive to others) No landlord should have to tolerate this behaviour tenants would not acept this from a landlord

  9. Licencing is not about penalising the good guys.
    It’s about visibility.
    No one said a licence would make you a good landlord but try managing blocks of flats where landlords are not compelled to provide information so list their rental property as their main address, hide behind Data Protection, hide behind letting agents, etc etc….

    I’ve experienced all this and it would be nice if it were recognised that the PRS and leasehold are inextricably linked. Bearing in mind the apparent support of everything landlord from the current government, we need the support of landlords on this aspect of information provision, not a blanket condemnation.

    Kind Regards
    Miss Sharon Crossland AIRPM
    Leasehold Life

  10. It might not be intended to be about penalising the good guys but that’s the effect it has. It ends up with responsible landlords shelling out cash to the council. Why should they?

    I work with my local council to provide good quality accommodation for tenants who would otherwise require social housing, which is in short supply. I take pride in providing a good service and the council staff respect me for it. I like the partnership approach which has benefits for me and the council. But if the council start trying to take money off me because some other landlords have been providing a poorer service, I’m off.

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