Friday, 29 May 2009

The Government outlines the future for Landlords and Letting Agents

The Government has published it's response to the Rugg Report in it's publication "The private rented sector: professionalism and quality - The Government response to the Rugg Review Consultation".

The 37 page report lays out the proposed changes that Landlords and Letting Agents face if this is turned into law. Some of the main highlights are:

  • A national register of Private Landlords

  • Compulsory registration of Letting and Managing Agents

  • Mandatory written tenancy agreements

  • Assured shorthold tenancy limits raised from £25,000 to £100,000

  • Greater protection for tenants whose Landlord defaults on mortgage payments

  • Greater focus on how Local Authorities work with the Private Rented Sector

  • Encouraging institutional investment into the Private Rented Sector

Of most immediate concern to Landlords will be the national register. Under the proposals Landlords will have to register themselves and each property they own - each year. The plan is to charge Landlords around £50 a year to register. It is unclear what this data will be used for and how freely available it will be.

If this scheme is used to weed out irresponsible and bad Landlords then many may support it but all too often these Landlords simply disappear beneath the radar and carry on as before. If the scheme is to benefit good Landlords then it will require a serious amount of policing. The question is who is going to police the scheme and what penalties are there for Landlords who fail to comply?

The Report makes it clear that one aim of the Register is to "drive up standards". The Report asks Landlords for their views on this and other proposals. Our suggestion to every Landlord is to fully read the Report and to submit your views to the Government. In our opinion it is vital that as many Landlords and Letting Agents as possible make their views known.

You have until Friday 7 August 2009 to make your views known. The Report contains both the postal and email addresses where your responses can be sent.

For a copy of the Report please click here The Government Response to the Rugg Review

If you have any comments you wish to make to please email us at