A simple and cost effective remedy for the bad landlord ?
Anyone that works within the private rented sector will know that it is split between local authorities trying to pile on more legislation in an attempt to uncover the landlords that do as little as possible to stay under the radar VS the majority of compliant landlords that run their portfolio as a business, declare their income and treat their tenants right by maintaining a good standard of property.
Selective licensing, additional licensing, mandatory registration, voluntary registration, deposit protection, etc is effectively there to flush out rogue landlords – but it is actually driving them further underground. This means that the good landlords continue to pay for the bad ones and the good tenants also end up with rent increases because of these unyielding landlords.
So what can be done to uncover these tax dodging & uncaring landlords without penalising the compliant and diligent ones?
When you want to resolve a problem look for simplicity, because the less simple something is the more it allows others to abuse it. So forget all of the above legislation and initiate this : a national rent registration scheme. This would involve every single person that rented property having to register each individual rent/board/lodgings that they have taken for residential tenure onto a mandatory register (excluding B & B’s, hotels, etc).
It would not matter whether you took £1 or £100,000 a week in rent you would be deemed a landlord and therefore every single rent taken would need to be registered and if a landlord failed to do so they would then be fined £1,000 for the first offence, £5,000 for the second offence, etc, etc.
A national rent registration scheme would:
- give massive transparency to the money being taken for rent from tenants,
- enable central government to access the register and find those who have not declared their taxes,
- create a very easy way for the government to monitor the private rented property that is being rented out in the UK,
- enable local authorities to access it to find all PRS landlords within their area, to make sure that their properties are up to scratch,
- generate reliable statistics on how many are renting and how many are not renting in the UK,
- achieve a stable influence within the PRS,
- encourage the landlords who are on the register to carry out thorough referencing procedures; clearing up entire communities from anti-social behaviour, crime, domestic abuse, etc in the process,
- improve property values across the board.
LandlordReferencing.co.uk understands more than anyone that those landlords who are trying to ‘keep under the radar’ will inevitably experience habitually bad tenants because they do not vet their tenants properly – which not only creates broken neighbourhoods but can also affect property values.
A very simple online register, where the user would receive a basic notification certificate, could be achieved almost at the click of a mouse.
LRS is all for a mandatory registration scheme for landlords if it assists the PRS – because at the moment good landlords are just paying into a bottomless pit on behalf of the bad ones – but what government and local authorities need to understand is that the continual bashing of good landlords to smoke out the bad ones is not working and will only reduce the UK’s housing stock further. And this is why a registration of rents would put absolutely every landlord in this country on a level playing field.
Registering rents in the same way as registering tax would create a fair and easy scheme that is not weighted towards anyone. The fines would go towards funding it, but more importantly the very people who it would be targeting would be funding it; if they failed to register.
At LRS we hit the target of bad tenants every day but we also read and hear too many stories of people who do not adhere to landlord law as they don’t class themselves as landlords, because they only take a bit of cash for a room, etc.
MAKE THEM LANDLORDS, MAKE THEM ANSWERABLE AND MAKE THEM REGISTER THIS CASH AS RENT.
LRS now hope to take this idea on to central government to try and hit the target of bad landlords, without killing off the majority of good landlords in the process.