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8 May 2009

Thumbs down for landlord registration scheme

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by Gill Montia

Thumbs down for landlord registration scheme

This week reports appeared in the press about Government plans to introduce a licensing scheme for landlords in England and Wales.

According to The Times, landlords will have to pay around £50 for a licence and a national register will be formed with landlords at risk of being struck off if they fail to keep up with repairs, or intimidate tenants.

Formal plans are expected to be announced in a Green Paper next week but in the meantime Landlord Assist has responded to the news by arguing that a registration system won’t have the required effect.

The firm, which describes itself as a dedicated service “to secure property and rent arrears for landlords” believes such a scheme would affect the choice of rental property available.

Managing director, Graham Kinnear, says: “Landlords are already facing reams of legislation, and further registration schemes will only deter people from entering the market.”

Making the point he adds: “There is legislation in place to ensure that landlords comply with gas and electrical checks, legislation for failure to provide an energy performance certificate plus legislation surrounding the correct operation of HMO licences (Houses in Multiple Occupation) and the treatment of tenants’ deposits. Indeed there is also legislation surrounding the actions of letting agents that act on landlords’ behalf.”

Meanwhile, colleague Stephen Parry is convinced that the “correct and consistent enforcement of existing legislation will address the issues of ‘unscrupulous landlords’”.

He says: “Every day we deal with landlord and tenant issues and it is clear that there are as many unscrupulous tenants as there are landlords and yet the continuous barrage of legislation seems only to penalise the landlord.”

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