Govt report brings private rented property debate into 21st century, says NLA

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

A recent report from the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee has been praised by the National Landlords Association (NLA) for bringing the private rented sector debate into the 21st century.

One of the study's highlights was to introduce a new £3 million fund to crack down on rogue landlords, with councils able to take a share of this money to tackle those who allow their tenants to live in unsafe and squalid conditions.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, said that thoughts and opinions around this sector were stuck in the 1970s. "The committee clearly understands how the rental market has developed and what it needs to mature, rejecting the past responses of rent controls, increased tenure and simplistic solutions of importing ideas from other countries."

He went on to say that landlords need to be able to respond to the changing needs and demands of renters. With the current state of the housing market, many people are being forced to shelve dreams of buying their own property and instead are faced with being tenants for a long period of time.

"The current tenancy legislation is more flexible than many realise, but the committee is right to highlight that adapting from the accepted norms to use this flexibility will be a challenge requiring 'a cultural change and removal of barriers, real and perceived'," he concluded.

Unveiling the report, housing minister Mark Prisk said that while the majority of tenants are happy with their home and the service that they receive, there are still a "minority" of rogue landlords who are exploiting people and forcing them to live in "overcrowded and squalid conditions".

It is better, simpler regulation around this topic that the NLA is backing, and Mr Lambert called for more proactive enforcement from local authorities which will target those who fail to meet acceptable standards.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801615084-ADNFCR

Published on: July 23, 2013

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