The laws underpinning the PRS are ‘not fit for purpose’ – NRLA

The laws underpinning the private rented sector are not fit purpose, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

The landlord organisation is keen to point out that some laws, including the the Landlord and Tenant Act 1730 and the Distress for Rent Act 1737, date back to the 18th century as it looks to demonstrate the need for reform.

The NRLA argues that far from the private rented sector being under-regulated, the sheer number of laws means councils are unable to enforce them properly.

The NRLA makes reference to old data, dating back to 2017/18, which found that 89% of local authorities reported issuing no civil penalties against private landlords. Yet, over half said they did not have a civil penalty policy in place.

With the government committed to developing a new White Paper on the PRS in the autumn, the NRLA is calling for a full assessment of the ability of councils to enforce the wide range of powers already available to them.

It is warning that proposals to improve the sector for tenants and responsible landlords will be critically undermined if regulations cannot be enforced properly, which would serve only to help those providing sub-standard accommodation.

It is calling also for a full review by the Law Commission of the current laws applying to the sector to establish if they are fit for purpose, and to propose updated and potentially consolidated legislation fit for the 21st century.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “The laws underpinning the private rented sector are not fit for purpose. They are failing to protect responsible landlords and tenants from the actions of those who bring the sector into disrepute.

“As Ministers consider further reforms it is urgent that we understand the ability of councils to properly enforce these as well as existing regulations. We also need to use this opportunity to ensure laws reflect the realities of a modern private rented sector.”

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  1. Will2

    Politicians are are major part of the problem as they soley play to the voters to get them or keep them in power. This is not condusive to good housing law.

    1. Burn red tape

      A Landlord asked  me last Friday, ‘How has this once capitalist state sleep walked into a communist state’?

      1. paulgbar666

        Indeed a question probably EVERY LL has asked recently!!

        We now have a Communist Tory Party if that isn’t an oxymoron!!?

        Attacking property rights definitely seems to be in vogue with the Tories.

        Something that any reasonable Tory voter would never occur with the Tories.


        How wrong all we 2nd property owners will be!!


      2. Will2

        BurnRedtape perhaps burnbluetape should be the new version.  Answer voting tory because the other choices were worse and have even more extreme communistic tendancies! Even the labour loonies and daft liberals were too left for the north west of England ended up voting tory leaving bully boy boris to think he can do as he likes! Never though I would see the day but the signs are all there. I see “I should not defame an entity nor bring them into disrepute” but there again the politicians are doing that for themselves. Whatever happened to the centre where socially responsible conservatism worked for the many? Guess they went to left wing universities and because the metro elite.

  2. Robert_May

    I have  serious concern that even with the auditing process of RICS, Propertymak and the Law Society, let alone those who are not regulated in any way the PRS is completely un-monitored for  money laundering, tax not paid properly or tax not paid at all.

    Its a £50b industry that’s operated almost entirely on the  morals and conscience of those involved

    1. Burn red tape

      Dear Robert

      May I ask if you enjoyed a liquid lunch before writing your response?

      Do you really believe your wild statement concerning tax no being declared or not paid? I am sure estate agents and landlords accountants as well as the IR will ensure tax is paid.

      As for money laundering, in this almost cashless society I doubt that very much. The vast majority of us are law abiding tax payers and pproud to be so..

      The odd one is just like the odd civil servant who leaves top secret state papers at a bus stop in Essex.

      s for GDPR I understand the Government have more breaches than any private company.


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