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Agents slam calls for mandatory register for all landlords

Two recent calls for the introduction of a national mandatory landlord register in England have been rebuffed by agents’ trade body ARLA Propertymark.

Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns officer, says: “Propertymark does not believe that licensing schemes are an effective way of promoting higher quality accommodation in the private rented sector. This is because most schemes fail as they are not adequately resourced to undertake the necessary enforcement activity.”

Earlier this week the activist group Generation Rent demanded the government introduce a landlord register in England, with its leader - Baroness Alicia Kennedy - saying that landlord registration would give enforcement authorities valuable intelligence about this sector, make it easier to inform tenants of their rights, and prevent criminals from renting out homes in the first place.


This call was taken up by a think tank, the Centre for Public Data, which wanted such a register to be made easily searchable for tenants, and integrated with other property databases for EPCs, deposit protection and holiday accommodation. 

CFPD director Anna Powell-Smith said earlier this week: “In England, you have to register to run a takeaway or work as an art therapist, but anyone can be a landlord – remarkable given how dangerous it is to live in a property with faulty wiring, boilers or mould. A patchwork of schemes will never give renters the protection they need and are an inefficient use of council resources. A national register will be cheaper to run and more effective in raising standards.”



However, ARLA Propertymark’s Timothy Douglas remains unconvinced.

He’s told Letting Agent Today: “The licensing regime becomes an administrative exercise, penalising those landlords who comply with the regulations whilst still allowing the landlords that the scheme was designed to target to continue operating under the radar. 

“Consequently, a national landlord register on its own is not the magical solution to improve the effectiveness of property licensing. 

“Ultimately, we believe that full mandatory government regulation of letting agents, including landlords fully-managing property, is the quickest and most effective way of driving up standards in the private rented sector.”

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    It’s easy to see that a national register isn’t an easy fix. Here in Wales we have a national register of landlords, landlords qualifications , mandatory licensing, selective licensing all charging fees but in the last 10 years I can’t really see where any improvement has taken place for tenants. Where there have been improvements it’s because the market place and tenants expectations have pushed the landlords into becoming better.
    The rest of it is just stealth tax

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    Can we have a similar register of rogue tenants?

    Roger  Mellie

    My thoughts exactly!


    Why would there be a register of tenants? The tenants do not profit from the letting process , nor do they have a legal duty to provide safe premises. This response is mostly from landlords who fail to understand that tenants are customers who are paying for a service. There will always be bad tenants- the entry standards must be rigid and this eradicates most problematic people but as with any investment there are risks.

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    @MJAEL So glad you don’t manage my properties. Mind you, since you operate in Wales it would be most unlikely that I’d invest there while Drakeford and his gang are in charge.


    I agree. I thought the Landlords he holds in such contempt were his clients!

  • Theodor Cable

    How can it work without a tenant registry?
    Especially that most of the letting issues are down to the problems that are caused by tenants.

    Could it be that the Generation Rent and Shelter know that the list of bad tenants would be tons and tons of paper for them to have read what would be a never ending job for them.


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