The Government intends to make sweeping changes to the private rented sector under its Renters’ Reform Bill, which it has stated it will bring forth in this parliamentary session.
The changes will likely require additional enforcement, which Paul Shamplina, COO of Hamilton Fraser and founder of Landlord Action, will discuss in a webinar being hosted by Goodlord tomorrow.
In its A Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, the government proposed several new routes to enhance enforcement. These include the introduction of a single government-approved Ombudsman covering all private landlords who rent out property in England – regardless of whether they use a letting agent. Membership will be mandatory, and the ombudsman will have powers to “put things right for tenants”, including compelling landlords to issue an apology, provide information, take remedial action, and/or pay compensation of up to £25,000.
A new digital Property Portal will also be introduced to “provide a single ‘front door’ to help landlords understand, and demonstrate compliance with their legal requirements”, according to the White Paper. Landlords will be legally required to register their property on the portal and local councils will be empowered to take enforcement action against private landlords that fail to join the portal.
The Government has also said that, working in partnership with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), it will introduce a package of “wide-ranging court reforms that will target the areas that particularly frustrate and hold up possession proceedings”, including county court bailiff capacity, paper-based processes, a lack of adequate advice about court and tribunal processes, and a lack of prioritisation of cases.
Shamplina will join Oli Sherlock, Director of Insurance at Goodlord and the host of the Renters’ Reform Bill webinar series, to discuss the proposals for enforcing the new legislation, as well as answer agents’ questions. The webinar is the third in the popular webinar series, for which thousands of lettings professionals throughout the UK have already registered.
Shamplina said: “Landlords are already under immense pressure on all sides and we’re beginning to see the results of that at Landlord Action, with more landlords than ever looking to sell their properties. It’s vital that these new measures work for landlords as well as tenants, otherwise we will see more and more landlords leaving the market.”
Oli Sherlock, director of Insurance at Goodlord, added: “There’s absolutely no doubt that additional legislation will result in additional enforcement. However, there needs to be aligned regulation of the private rented sector, which applies to letting agents and landlords. I’m looking forward to discussing with Paul how the proposals for an Ombudsman and property portal could work with this in mind.”
Sign up to the webinar, which takes place on Thursday at 10am, by clicking here.