ARLA Propertymark is calling on the government to properly fund local authorities so they can combat rogue operators in the private rental sector.
In its submission to HM Treasury ahead of the Budget and spending review scheduled for later this month, Propertymark says many local authorities clearly face spending challenges when it comes to the policing of rogue landlords and agents.
Propertymark says one encouraging development early last year was that more than 100 councils across England were awarded a share of over £4m to crack down on criminal operators in the sector.
However, the agents’ body says: “To date there has been no published assessment of the impact of this programme and no follow up funding has been allocated.”
It goes on to tell the Treasury: “Local authorities must therefore be provided with adequate and protected funding to enable them to make best use of existing enforcement powers and coordinate their activity to handle compliance with regulations across the private rented sector before the UK government introduces any new measures intended to drive up standards via its Renting Reform agenda.”
Specifically, it wants the government to create a ring-fenced grant ensuring all local authorities receive support that is proportionate to what is needed to deliver effective enforcement in their areas.
At the Conservative party conference this week, Eddie Hughes MP - a junior housing and homelessness minister in the newly-renamed Ministry of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - spoke against ring-fencing funding for any aspect of the private rental sector.
However, he did say the government was listening closely to all stakeholders in the sector for their views on future reforms, ahead of the release of a White Paper on the subject, expected later this year.
You can see Propertymark’s full submission to HM Treasury here.