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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Shapps promise to landlords: no more red tape.

As a Landlord with just 4 properties I'm pleased that the Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today announced that he will be scrapping plans to introduce new regulations on private landlords.

Of the three million private tenants in this country, the vast majority report they are satisfied with the service they receive from their landlords. I have no reason to believe that my tenants are not amongst them.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Shapps confirmed that with the private rented sector already governed by a well established legal framework, the Government has no plans to introduce any further regulations.

Instead, he urged councils to use the wide range of powers they already have at their disposal to tackle the minority of rogue landlords that blight some communities, provide a poor service to tenants and damage the reputation of the private rented sector. The sooner the councils use their powers the better for all decent landlords.

Council powers include:
  • Powers to require landlords to take action to rectify hazards in their property;
  • Where landlords resist, the ability to make and charge for improvements and to prohibit use of the affected parts of the property; and
  • Discretionary licensing powers to tackle areas blighted by poorly managed privately rented stock.
New regulations were proposed by the previous administration in response to the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector, but have been judged by the new coalition to introduce too much additional red tape. These included a National Register of Landlords, regulation of letting and managing agents, and compulsory written tenancy agreements.

Grant Shapps said:
"With the vast majority of England's three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.
"So today I make a promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.
"But for the bad landlords, I am putting councils on alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected."

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