There’s some good news this week for the PRS in England and Wales, as Housing Minister, Grant Shapps announced the scrapping of any intention for a national landlord register.
In response to Labour’s landlord register scheme, Shapp’s decision to ditch the register was due to his view that such a scheme would not encourage investment in the private rented sector.
The register, which was introduced in Scotland in 2007, has been accused of being severely flawed. Only 24 landlords were refused registration, 3 having their registration revoked and no landlord has ever been prosecuted for failing to register. Yet claims of £16bn of private and public money has been spent on the initiative in Scotland.
Last week in an announcement Grant Shapps said,
“Today I make a promise to good landlords across the country; the Government has no plans to create burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.” Making an indication that local authorities would be responsible for the regulation of landlords he added, “But for bad landlords, I am putting councils on the alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected.”
Hopefully Mr. Shapps will also add further reform by honouring the Conservatives pledge they made pre-election by changing the LHA policy and returning the tenants right to have payments made direct to their landlord.