The Residential Landlords Association is calling on MPs to support a measure being proposed in the House of Commons that would make it compulsory for tenants to identify their landlord or agent, plus contact details, on council tax registration forms.
Angela Watkinson is proposing an amendment to the Planning & Housing Bill that would give less secrecy to the identity of rogue landlords and rogue agents.
Such a policy would provide a way of identifying landlords without expecting them to pay substantial sums of money for licences that achieve little, the association says.
The call came in the evidence given by RLA policy director David Smith to the Planning & Housing Bill Committee, which is reviewing the legislation in detail.
Smith called for “a culture of longer tenancies”, not through heavy handed legislation but making it easier for landlords to offer longer tenancies. Where tenancies last longer, landlords will not generally increase rents by more than inflation to encourage good, rent paying tenants to stay in their properties, he said, seeking support for the Bill to include such a provision.
He also explained that as there are over 100 Acts of Parliament containing over 400 individual regulations affecting the private rented sector, the lettings industry is clearly not, as some argue, under-regulated.
The problem lies in enforcement, he says. Licensing is not the answer as good landlords pay for licences and other initiatives and end up shouldering the costs for the behaviour of bad landlords. “Not only is this unfair, it fails to protect those vulnerable tenants at the hands of exploitative landlords” he says.