I was reading the Croydon Guardian, an act that may appear more random than it actually was, and noticed an article on the Council’s plans to implement a license for all privately rented properties of £750 for five years to help combat rogue landlords.
My understanding of some of the interesting differences in opinions are:-
Landlords, or at least the majority of, are not in favour, citing that the poor few are causing the good to be penalised by an action that is in actual fact nothing more than a funding exercise by the council.
Tenants seem to be generally in favour, despite warnings that rents may rise to compensate for the Landlords’ additional costs.
In an industry that is not regulated, this seems to be a case of another example of why regulation is so desperately needed.
On closer inspection there seems to be a mix of plasters applied to the perceived problems within the rental industry. I have seen bad landlords and good tenants as well as bad tenants and good landlords, the net result always seems to be the same and any ensuing action incorporates and therefore potentially punishes, the good in both cases.
My concern is that the longer we allow an industry to be non-regulated and apply fixes that deter people from entering or staying within it, the greater the chance that the level of housing stock available to be privately let, will stand still or even diminish.
At Belvoir, we would like to see enforcement of existing legislation, before bringing in yet more red tape! This would send out a clear message to rogues that their behavior will not be tolerated.
Given the way that the population seems to be travelling toward more of a rental focussed culture, there seems to be barriers to entry lining up that at the moment - such as mandatory landlord licensing - that are detrimental to the development and growth of the sector.
Private landlords are vital to the current housing shortage in this country, and without their investment in properties for rent, social housing would be completely overwhelmed and inadequate.
So hopefully politicians will see that landlords need to be encouraged to remain in the private rented sector, not forced out or discouraged from entering by excessive bureaucracy.
The Emergency Budget tomorrow will give some important indicators as to how the Government is going to treat private landlords and the rental sector. Interesting times ahead!
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