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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and now the National Landlords Association (NLA) are backing a review of the private rented sector by the University of York.
The report finds the PRS to be confused and contradictory failing on multiple levels with landlords and tenants unsure of their responsibilities, rights and the regulations.
The RLA criticise councils for the poor enforcement of regulations and a lack of policy for exercising penalties against landlords.
David Smith, Policy Director, of the RLA said: “Tenants, landlords and local authorities all need to clearly understand their roles, responsibilities and the powers available to tackle poor housing. For many this has become difficult to achieve.
“There is no point passing new laws and regulations if the existing ones are not being enforced properly.”
NLA chief executive, Richard Lambert, said: “Everyone calls for evidence based policy, but too often we have policy based evidence. This report clearly states to case for better understanding of landlords, their motivations and their business plans, recognising that neither landlords nor tenants are a homogenous group.
“Understanding the customer is vital to ensure that private rented sector meets the needs of tenants and it’s essential that landlords develop a stronger consumer focus. At the same time, it’s important to recognise that the overwhelming majority of tenancies pass successfully for both landlords and tenants, and policy interventions to address those that don’t must be strategic and targeted.”
Dr. Rugg, co-author of the report, said: “Since our first review was published, declining homeownership and a shortage of social rented homes have led to a surge in the number of people privately renting, particularly families with young children.
“Unfortunately, in its current form the private rental market isn’t providing a suitable alternative, and in the absence of an overarching vision from any government we’ve seen reams of policies and regulations which are not joined up or thought through.
“We need to see a fundamental rethink of the role that private renting plays in our housing market and a comprehensive strategy to ensure it meets the needs of every renter.”
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