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16 November 2009

Tenants to have more say with landlords

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by Gill Montia

Tenants to have more say with landlords

Landlord Assist is complaining that landlords are likely to be facing more red tape that could increase costs and deter entrants to the private rental market.

According to the tenant arrears and eviction specialist, new regulations for social housing landlords are likely to find their way into the private rental sector.

Measures recently announced by the Tenant Services Authority, due to come into force in April of next year, propose a greater emphasis on the relationship between landlords and their tenants, at a local level.

The changes aim to encourage tenants to influence and monitor the services they receive and social landlords could face large fines or lose their property management rights for failing to comply.

Housing Minister John Healey is hopeful that the legislation will mean repairs are right first time, antisocial behaviour is reduced and tenants have a proper say in the management of their properties.

However Landlord Assist managing director, Graham Kinnear, is concerned that if extended to the private rental sector, the added bureaucracy could deter entrants to the market.

He explains: “Rafts of policy and legislation, which require the landlord to do even more than currently required are, in our view, unnecessary and may well discourage landlords from entering the market, thereby reducing the choice and quality of rental accommodation available.”

Last week, Landlord Assist revealed that landlords at the higher end of the market are just as likely to be struggling with arrears as those renting to lower income tenants because higher earners are currently bearing the brunt of the recession.

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