By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Government outlines new clampdown on private rental sector abuse

The government has released more details on long-discussed proposals to tighten up licensing in the private rental sector.

It wants landlords in England who let a property to five or more people from at least two different families, to be licensed.

Under the plan, the maximum number of people who can occupy a room would be specified in the property's licence - ending, in theory at least, some overcrowding in the rental sector. 


The Department for Communities and Local Government believes that the change - which is still to be agreed by Parliament - would make a much greater proportion of flats and one and two-storey properties subject to licensing.

National mandatory licensing currently only applies if properties are three or more storeys.

It estimated that about 160,000 homes will be affected by the new proposals.

The government says it will also bring forward proposals to specify minimum bedroom sizes on homes to let, and has set out new offences which will lead to landlords being banned from letting out properties - these offences include burglary and stalking. 

If convicted, landlords could be added to the ‘rogues database’ already revealed by the government and set to begin operating in April 2018.

Housing minister Alok Sharma says he wants to target "unscrupulous" landlords who profit from offering "overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes ... Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crackdown on these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good."

Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told The Independent newspaper that his party, if it reaches government, will make so-called ‘no fault’ evictions illegal. 

"I think it's a moral litmus test for the country: do we just put up with so many rough sleepers or do we do something about it. ... I am very determined to bring some order and stability to their lives by longer tenancies and eviction that can only be there for good reason rather than just what can be retaliatory eviction," he told the newspaper.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 allows a landlord to recover possession of a property by giving the tenant two months' notice.

He repeated his 2017 party conference pledge that there would be longer tenancies and a "more regulated" private rented system under Labour.

  • Simon Shinerock

    JC the man who has been fighting for peace since university, The lumps test is do we have enough property for or population, we don’t, best focus on that really

  • Simon Shinerock

    Litmus test :)

  • Barry X

    It was the s.21 provisions of the 1988 Act that revolutioned the private rental sector and made possible what we have today. Before it EVERYONE renting was, in effect, a statutory or sitting tenant under hopelessly outdated legislation from the 50s and there was no incentive to modernise or even repair properties because rents were controlled so it made no difference, and you couldn't sell the property (except for about 1/3 of its open market value if empty) because it came with a tenant, and if that tenant died or moved out their next of kin were able to take over and carry on.....

    There's been a lot of legislation creep steadily eroding and undermining the s.21 in recent years, e.g. requirements to prove you've "protected" a security deposit, and also that your tenant hasn't recently grumbled about a maintenance issue - all of which should be irrelevant to the basic principle of who owns the property and if they want/need it back for any reason, e.g. to sell it. These are all SERIOUS THREATS to landlords' rights of property ownership/control and should never be allowed to slip off "the radar".... we should be lobbying relentlessly to educate stake holders and have this reversed, as well as prevent future/further attacks.

    If you've ever been to a property auction to watch bidding for a house or flat that was respectable looking on the outside, but a bit tatty on the inside, and you thought it would be an easy "project" to do up and turn around, then wondered why so few people were interested and went so cheaply you'd know immediately it was subject to a statutory tenancy of some sort or other and nobody could even get a mortgage for it!

    Such tenancies sometimes arise accidentally, and when they do they BLIGHT properties and effectively take control and usually most if not all of the equity in them from the owner/landlord....

    If he/they could I'm sure Corbyn and his chums would be delighted to do that to ALL of your and our properties (but not his/theirs of course)....

    From time to time over the last few months I've come across well written well researched articles identifying various stated dreams, proposed policies and aspirations of a future Labour government. These include among other measures;

    (a) rent controls,
    (b) minimum 3-year fixed term residential tenancies,
    (c) land tax to try and force people to develop their land and fleece them while they don't,
    (d) more annual taxes on people who own BTL properties even in addition to more tax rents received and less allowances,
    (e) new "exits/sales" tax on disposals of BTL properties to be suddenly rushed in as soon as labour get in power to do the same sort of thing in reverse as the 3% SDLT surcharge for buying a "2nd home" so sellers would have to pay it too. Note this would be a tax on the sale price and would be IN ADDITION TO CGT that would still apply for the "profit" (a sour "haha" as that's really a tax mainly on inflation for those that understand, often reversing/negating real-terms profit if any),
    (f) increasing the 3% SDLT surcharge and maybe adding more rules and making it a bigger mess,
    (h) more regulation and red-tape to "control" private landlords via registration schemes on a property-by-property basis (with annual charges etc).... and so on and so on....

    Maybe none of this will happen, but if even one or two of those measures, let alone all of them, slip quietly into force/place then, boy will both markets (sales as well as rental) and our businesses depending on it take a long-term hit!

    Of course the treacherous and increasingly desperate Tories (that I used to trust, but that was long ago) will adopt any, and as many, Labour policies they feel like in order to appeal to the young and/or stupid and hang on to a few votes or alternatively take a few new ones dangling as "low hanging fruit" they shouldn't be interested in.

    There's a famous Irish joke (I first heard years ago from a close Irish friend before an PC-fool complains).... when asked for directions to somewhere the solemn answer is "well, if I wanted to go there I wouldn't start from here....". Right now my advice is that if you'd like to invest in property then forget about the Uk entirely, go back 10-15 years in time, sell everything and pay the much lighter exit taxes applying in those happier days, then head for the Far East and put all your money and efforts into top quality new-builds in any one of the exciting and wonderful booming cities out there such as Bangkok, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, obviously HK could be on the list and many other places too. The food's better, the people are generally fantastic, there's none of the absurd UK planning neurosis, and of course red tape and tax and all the rest are massively in your favour in stead of against you and getting worse. No wonder the returns - and life style - are so much better!

    Sadly, I didn't listen to my wife when she actually predicted and suggested all this at the time and on and off ever since.....!

    MEANWHILE, stuck and trapped here in the UK as it slides further into oblivion..... I suggest landlords and others with a stake/interest in private rental property GET TOGETHER, GET ACTIVE and start to MAKE A STAND before it's even later and worse and harder to reverse even more of the same we're heading for.....

  • Rent Rebel

    Good to see landlords running so scared.

  • icon

    The government need to clampdown on rogue councils and their managing agents! After all, over 80 people just died in grenfell tower that wasnt run by a private landlord was it?


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up