New Mandatory Landlord Registration Scheme For England

New Mandatory Landlord Registration Scheme For England

Earlier this summer, the former Minister of State for Housing and Planning,
Margaret Beckett, announced plans for a mandatory landlord registration scheme
in England.   A landlord register already exists in Scotland, which requires
every landlord to register with their local authority, but England, Wales, and
Northern Ireland have yet to follow suit. 

The objective of introducing a register is to raise standards and improve
conditions for tenants.  If passed into law, the Government’s proposal will
require the details of all landlords and management agents to be included on a
national register.  Any that fail to act in their tenants’ best
interests or protect deposits could be struck off the register and banned from
renting property.

The plans also include provisions for: an independent regulator for all
letting and managing agents; setting up an improved system for tenant complaints
and redress; and a minimum notice of two months for tenants to leave if their
landlord’s property is repossessed – there have been some cases of people being
given less than two weeks notice.

Consumer advocacy group Which? welcomed the proposals, with chief
executive Peter Vicary-Smith commenting:  “This is great news
for the millions of people around the country who rent private accommodation. 
For too long tenants have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous landlords and
letting agents with little or no redress.”

But, Which? is less happy about the fact that reference-checking agents acting for landlords and
management companies will not be covered by the proposed regulations.

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