New landlord register and home improvement rules to be unveiled

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Private landlords will be legally required to bring their properties up to a set of national standards for the first time under new plans set to be announced by the government this week.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, will provide further information about the new law, designed to ensure rented properties are ‘safe, warm and well kept’.

It is estimated that landlords will be required to refit about 800,000 properties across the country under the new legislation.

The law will also introduce a mandatory register for landlords, with rogue operators being ejected from the list. All tenants in the private rental sector would also gain a new right to redress for complaints about their homes.

 

Under existing rules, social housing landlords are required by law to keep their properties in a decent state of repair and periodically update them, but there are no rules for the private sector.

Dominic Agace
Dominic Agace

Official figures suggest that 4.4million families rent their home from a private landlord, representing 19% of all households in England.

Dominic Agace, chief executive of leading estate agents Winkworth, welcomes the principle of a landlords’ national register to increase standards, but warns that the government needs to be careful how this is used.

He commented: “If it increases significantly the burden on landlord costs, it will be self-defeating as landlords will exit the sector and rents will rise. Any register needs to address basic standards for tenants but it also needs to provide incentives for landlords to improve properties, if we want to ensure we have the landlords we need to provide the rental accommodation young professionals need as they start their careers.

“We are already seeing the repercussions of tax changes for landlords, feeding into a shortage of supply and rental increases of up to 20% in some places. We need more quality landlords to enter the sector.”

 

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8 Comments

  1. JMK

    And what about the social landlords that have some of the most disgraceful properties out there?  Are their tenants entitled to ‘safe, warm and well kept’ homes??

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    1. letstalk

      Exactly this! Whenever there is a post in local forums about the condition of properties it is always social housing tenants talking about the lack of repair and maintenance.

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    2. northernlandlord

      Correct JMK. Our local Council does not inspect its own housing let alone keep it up to standard, they receive more complaints about the state of their own housing than complaints about the PRS. Around here if a social tenant complains about damp the Council eventually deliver a tin of damp proofing paint and if you are really lucky a brush to apply it with!  They should put their own houses in order first!

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  2. Diogenes

    A register is one thing – but then what? The key is compulsory redress for tenants and more importantly UPRNs to ensure transparency and prevent non complaint properties being advertised.

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  3. LVW4

    Who is to control this register? Councils are understaffed and treat landlords as cash cows, then go begging to the PRS for properties for social housing.

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  4. jeremy1960

    In Wales this type of legislation has been around for 5 years.

    It is simply not enough to have a register, those landlords on the register must “earn” their place so we are talking about some form of training & accreditation. London boroughs have been operating accreditation schemes for some time so should be able to adapt but then what to do about the rest of the country?

    If landlords have to attend training to get their accreditation to be able to appear on the register, there will be a cost to the landlords which inevitably will filter down to the tenants by way of rent increases.

    There would need to be a robust and simple scheme in place for prosecuting landlords not on the register that can be undertaken by tenants without fear of reprisal.

    There will need to be a minimum standard in place for properties, HHSRS is ineffective and not used y many local authorities, introducing new standards will inevitably increase landlord costs and again will filter down to increased rents for tenants.

     

    it is all very well making an announcement but physically putting this is place will take years and needs to have industry input otherwise we end up with a Government bodge which nobody can police due to lack of funding/staff/desire.

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  5. A W

    Because there isn’t enough regulation in the industry…

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  6. Woodentop

    I wish PIE would make it clear in their stories that this only applies to England or another devolved nation that has its own rules. We have the public reading these articles and self managing landlords get confused, particularly those cross border landlords.

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