A property investment search portal has launched an online petition via the UK Parliament website, calling for a national register of buy to let private rental properties.
Just as owner-occupier property transactions are recorded and analysed via the Land Registry, the founder of Buy2Let.com, Martin Wilkinson, is campaigning for a register of transactions by buy to let investors, to help quantify the market and root out the rogue landlords.
Wilkinson says that despite recent attempts by the government and the Bank of England to - in his words - "stifle the buy-to-let sector" an acute shortage of homes and increasing house prices means that the private rental sector continues to pick up the slack.
“We frequently see reports and statistics on the owner-occupier market but the lack of reliable, comprehensive data on the private rental and buy to let sector means no one – including politicians, mortgage lenders and estate agents - has a clear picture of what is happening in the market. In much the same way as a mortgage charge is registered on traditional house sales, we think there should be a similar requirement for buy to let purchases" says Wilkinson.
He claims the BTL sector generates over £100bn in transactions every year "so it’s vital that we capture the true scale of this important market, and at the same time, use the data gathered to identify and stamp out malpractice and rogue landlords.”
Meanwhile a longer-standing online petition - also on the government's website - opposed to the proposed changes to landlords' tax breaks regarding mortgage interest relief and wear and tear allowance is nearing 39,000 signatures.
Having taken almost four months to reach this level, it now appears unlikely that it will reach its 100,000 target by the end of January.