Chronic failure to tackle criminal landlords puts tenants at risk

Chronic failure to tackle criminal landlords puts tenants at risk

0:01 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago 12

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The Government needs to address a chronic failure to tackle rogue landlords who put tenants at risk, says the national body representing landlords.

With the Government pledged to publish a White Paper setting out proposed reforms for the private rented sector (PRS) in England, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is warning that every measure in it will fail without robust action to root out rogue and criminal landlords.

As it today publishes its own shadow white paper for the sector, the NRLA points to figures previously cited by the Government which show that just 43 landlords are currently listed on the database of rogue landlords in England. This is despite Ministers’ previous suggestion that up to 10,500 rogue landlords may be operating in the PRS.

Previous research by the NRLA reveals that the number of statutory provisions applying to England has risen by 40% over the last decade to 168 pieces of legislation. These conclusions demonstrate that local authorities’ inability to enforce existing legislation, as opposed to a lack of powers, is the key problem in this area.

Figures released by Unchecked UK suggest that between 2009 and 2019 the amount spent on Local Authority Environmental Health Officers in England and Wales fell by around a third.

The NRLA is calling on the Government to conduct a full assessment of the ability of councils to enforce the wide range of powers already available to tackle rogue and criminal landlords. However, central government needs to provide upfront, multi-year funding to help local authorities to build the capacity to tackle bad practice.

The proposals are among a number being put forward by the NRLA as the Government develops its plans for the sector, including the ending of Section 21, so called ‘no fault’ repossessions.

In calling for changes that work for both responsible landlords and tenants, the NRLA is proposing a system that provides a set of clear and comprehensive rights for landlords. This would give landlords the ability to take back possession of properties but would balance these additional rights with robust protections for tenants.

In addition, it is calling for a new landlord/tenant dispute body, similar to the employment body ACAS, to enable landlords and tenants to reach agreement without the need to go to court. Where cases do end up in court they must be dealt with more efficiently, making use of video technology wherever possible. At present it can take around a year for a legitimate repossession claim to reach a conclusion.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“We need to address the chronic failure to take action against rogue and criminal landlords. It puts tenants at risk and undermines the reputation of the overwhelming majority of landlords who play by the rules. As Ministers develop their plans for the sector, they need to be clear whether any of what they propose will be properly enforced.

“More broadly, it is vital that the forthcoming White Paper strikes a fair balance between the needs of both tenants and landlords. It is in that spirit that we continue to work with the Government and others to develop workable policies that protect tenants from bad landlords whilst ensuring good landlords have the confidence to provide the homes to rent the country desperately needs.”



Comments

by terry sullivan

7:18 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

whose side is nrla on? who funds nrla?

glad i left

by DGM

8:27 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

NRLA never cease to amaze how they seem to hate their own members. There are far more rogue tenants than rogue landlords. They should be on our side about removing rogue tenants asap, not the 9 months to a year where no income for the landlord.

by Clint

8:48 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

How ridiculous can NRLA get? There is no mention of rogue tenants of which there are multiple times the number of landlords.

The NRLA are definitely not on the side of landlords and doing their best to undermine landlords.

by Mike

10:18 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

"It is in that spirit that we continue to work with the Government and others to develop workable policies that protect tenants from bad landlords whilst ensuring good landlords have the confidence to provide the homes to rent the country desperately needs.”

How the heck would any Landlords trust them to represent our interest and protect us from rogue tenants and rogue councils. Landlords are overburdened with unjust and unfair legislation heavily biased against Landlords. Seems like they have a screw gone loose. .

by SM

10:48 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

I note that NRLA say that more funding is required to help Local Authorities clamp down on these rogue landlords. I wonder how many of these rogue landlords are housing associations? I also feel that NRLA are rather obtuse if they believe that the Government will fund such a clamp down. Its more likely that the HMO and Selective License fees will just go up.

by Clint

11:04 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

We need an organisation like pp118 to represent us. I would be happy to pay an annual fee for such an organisation & would switch from NRLA who I only use for the discounted deposit protection and stay on so as to belong to some Landlord organisation.

I would hope, the NRLA read the comments on pp118 & realise that Landlords are not at all happy with their stance. So far, all the comments on this forum contradict what the NRLA are calling for.

by alan thomas

11:22 AM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

I have already canceled my direct debit to this confused organisation

by Fen Jen

13:38 PM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

NRLA only exist for the benefit of tenants and the government. All they seem to understand is more and more regulation and penalisation from landlords. They take landlords subscriptions and then penalise them by lobbying the government for more restrictions. Xero help even if you ask them a question they don't know the answer. They gave me incorrect information on when to serve notice during covid.

by Anne Nixon

14:33 PM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

I agree with everyone above - whose side are the the NRLA on?
Do they really think that rogue landlords are the most pressing thing on landlords' minds? I can think of many more urgent issues - for starters how about the inept DWP and the difficulty landlords have in getting rent paid for tenants who are benefit claimants also the upcoming changes in Government regulation on EPCs in 2025 meaning many landlords fear they will be unable to achieve the required target of a 'C' and may be unable to let their older properties.

by Ian Narbeth

16:27 PM, 25th August 2021, About a month ago

Ben Beadle and the NRLA’s naïveté is worrying. Do they not realise that any steps the Government takes in response to this call to action will, 100% guaranteed, hurt the overwhelming majority of landlords who play by the rules? That has been the pattern of the last 10 years and will not change.
Local authorities who enforce the rules take the line of least resistance and go for the low hanging fruit of landlords who commit a technical infringement of one of a bewildering array of rules. There are about 2 1/4 million PRS landlords in the UK. Even if the Minister is right that “up to 10,500 rogue landlords may be operating in the PRS” that is fewer than 1 in 200 (under half of one percent). So, 99 1/2 per cent are not labelled as rogues but will face increased costs, stress and harassment. 43 landlords out of 2.25 million is 0.002% or 2 in one hundred thousand!
When the largest landlord representative body asks that its own members be given a damn good kicking, the Government may be only too happy to oblige.

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