The Residential Landlords Association has recently found that the number of laws creating an obligation on private landlords has increased by 32 per cent since 2010.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector across England and Wales. According to a new analysis by the RLA, the total number of regulations affecting landlords has increased in the past 9 years, from 118 to 156.
However, the RLA have highlighted that the increase in legislation has not actually led to an improvement in enforcement action against criminal landlords, furthermore, many councils are failing to properly use the powers they already have.
They believe that rather than creating further powers that local authorities may not make use of, the emphasis should be on utilising the powers they already have.
Research by the RLA led to the discovery that in 2017/18, two thirds of councils had not initiated any prosecutions against private landlords – additionally, in the same year, 89 per cent of councils told the RLA they had not used new powers to issues Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 against private landlords for a range of offences.
Over half, 53 per cent, did not have a policy in place to properly use the power.
Against a rising tide of regulation and poor levels of enforcement the RLA is calling on all political parties in the election to commit to improving enforcement of the powers already available rather than introduce new legislation which councils will be unable to use to root out the crooks.
Some of the Legislations that have come into play in the past year
Tenant Fees Ban
The Tenant Fees Ban was introduced on 1st June 2019, with the aim of ensuring that tenants will be able to see what a property will cost them in the advertised rent with no hidden costs.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act
Having come into force on 20 March, the Fitness for Human Habitation Act was created so that landlords ensure their property is free of any hazards and fit for human habitation. Properties breaching the updated legislation will be liable for court action from tenants.
Client Money Protection scheme
Under a new law which took effect from 1 April 2019, private-sector agents will be required to join a government-approved Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme or face up to a £30,000 fine.
Regulations that are being introduced
Mortgage interest tax relief
Under the old rules, you could deduct your mortgage interest (plus other related costs including arrangement fees) before determining your taxable profit. But under the new rules, that interest rate relief will be cut in a phased process that will end April 2020.
Electrical installation checks
While the implementation date isn’t yet known, the government appears committed to introducing compulsory five-year electrical installation checks on private rented housing in England.
How Belvoir help:
Regardless of the news that councils may not be enforcing rules and regulations to the best that they could, it is our duty to our landlords and their tenants, that we stay on top of all the rules.
We pride ourselves on ensuring that the way we operate and the services we provide are always in line with the rules and regulations set out by the government and the council.