Landlord Register and Private Rented Sector Regulations Scrapped

Landlord Register and Private Rented Sector Regulations Scrapped

The coalition government has scrapped plans to introduce a  in England. Announcing the decision, Tory Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

“With the vast majority of England’s three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

“So today I make a promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.

“But for the bad landlords, I am putting councils on alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected.”

New regulations were proposed by the previous administration in response to the , but have been judged by the new coalition to introduce “too much additional red tape”.

‘Extreme disappointment’

The  said it was “extremely disappointed” with the government’s decision. Its operations manager Ian Potter said:

“This move risks seriously hampering the improvement of standards in the , the sector’s reputation, and the fundamental role it plays in the wider housing market, as well as failing to protect the consumer who has nowhere to go when there is service failure or fraud.

“A minimum requirement must surely be consumer redress and protection of all funds taken from the public, not just tenants deposits.

“Currently, any person or organisation can become a letting agent. Until that is changed via national regulation, unprofessional, unqualified and unethical operators will continue to exist to the detriment and expense of consumers and the market as a whole.”

Consumer advocacy group Which? echoed these sentiments with chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith commenting:  “For too long tenants have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous landlords and letting agents with little or no redress.”

Small change

The only change recommended by the Rugg Review that will still go ahead is the increase in the annual rental threshold for assured and assured shorthold tenancies from the current level of £25,000 to £100,000. The Statutory Instrument raising the threshold, , was laid on 25 March and will come into effect on 1 October 2010 for both new and existing tenancies.

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