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Register demanded to net rogue landlords

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Register demanded to net rogue landlords

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Regulation

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A report by a landlord representative body fails to defend deregulation of private renting and only reinforces the case for a national landlords register, a campaign group has said.

The Residential Landlords Association's report - 'The impact of regulation on the private rented sector' - claims that current regulations are failing to achieve their aims.

However, though Generation Rent (GR) agrees that existing regulations are not working, the campaign group has said that a national register of landlords would help to improve conditions for tenants.

The RLA's report, written by Professor Michael Ball of Henley Business School, makes several points that GR has taken issues with, including:

  • “Registration schemes can never be comprehensive because they face the fundamental information problem of not knowing what properties are rented out by whom.”

GR claims that saying there is lack of data in the industry, and that it is difficult to enforce against the worst offenders only proves the need for a comprehensive landlord register.

  • "Operating costs “range up to 30-40% of gross rents”

GR says the regulatory ‘burden’ is illusory – all businesses have running costs, and being a private landlord is a highly profitable one.

  • “The sensible way to evaluate any proposal aimed at regulating the PRS is to undertake a cost-benefit analysis (CBA), comparing the costs, direct and indirect, with the value of the benefits expected to be achieved.”

According to GR, Professor Ball’s own cost-benefit analysis claims that tenancy deposit schemes cost £276m but the only benefit is the £7m in deposits that are recovered by tenants as a result of the scheme.

Alex Hilton, GR director, said: “RLA wants you to pity poor, over-regulated landlords but the reality is that it’s harder to open a commercial kennel than to let a house to humans. The evidence is that private renting is one of the most profitable businesses that you can run and it’s about time there was a fair balance between the rights of renters and landlords.”

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