The number of regulations landlords must abide by has increased by 32% since 2010, new analysis has found.
The total number of regulations affecting landlords now stands at 156, up from 118 when the Conservative-led coalition government came to power, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said.
The RLA is warning that the increased regulation of the rental sector is not translating into action against landlord. A previous study by the organisation found that in 2017/18, despite a greater amount of regulation now governing the sector, two thirds of councils had not commenced any prosecutions against private landlords.
Ahead of the General Election in December 2019, the RLA has proposed scrapping licensing schemes, which it states serve only to penalise good landlords whilst enabling the criminals to operate under the radar.
Instead, the RLA is encouraging local councils to use the wide range of data already available, including council tax, benefits, tenancy deposit and electoral roll information to identify landlords.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “Removing criminal landlords from the sector will only be achieved if councils have the resources and the will to properly use the wide range of powers they already have.
“Piling more regulations onto the sector which will continue not to be properly enforced is meaningless and serves only to put off good landlords from providing the homes to rent we need. It is time for smarter enforcement, not more regulation.”
Landlords have backed a merger between the two largest landlord organisations in England and Wales, the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). Members voted in favour of the merger at a meeting yesterday, which means that a single organisation will now be formed, delivering a stronger voice for landlords in the private rented sector.
The new organisation, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), will have a membership of more than 80,000 landlords and manage around half a million properties, which is about 10% of the PRS. The new association will launch officially on 1st January 2020. The two chairs, Alan Ward of the RLA and Adrian Jeakings of the NLA, have said in a joint statement: “We are delighted that landlords have backed plans for a new, stronger body to represent them and their interests.
“The new organisation will have a more powerful voice to support landlords, provide services to them and to lobby government.
“Both organisations will now move forward together to appoint a new chair and directors for the NRLA. We will be seeking candidates internally and externally and we would welcome expressions of interest from members for these posts.”