Current legal process and enforcement
I often read about the need to overall the current legal process and enforcement when it comes to removing tenants from a property. Some call for stronger enforcement, whilst others claim streamlining the existing legislation would not only deter potential rental abuse from tenants but would reduce rents as landlords would not be passing on losses to future law-abiding tenants to recover their costs.
However, prior to arriving at the point where a landlord has to evict a tenant, many are claiming we currently have a two-tier rental market? Many tenant supporting organisations such as shelter claim that hundreds of thousands of tenants are forced to take on illegal substandard homes, simply because they cannot afford to rent legally let properties. Now I am completely against the letting of illegal rental properties, what I am not happy about is the bashing of the law abiding landlords that get brought into the equation rather than dealing with the so called masses of rogue landlords that are preying on the vulnerable element of society. Nobody has actually clarified what the vulnerable element actually is?
Surely this is the fault as a society as a whole and as the government are voted in by the majority, ultimately they have to be held accountable for the so called two teir system. We live in a capitalist society where supply and demand will dictate the cost of many things. Yet we have a government who is making it harder and harder for small private landlords to maintain their buy to let property portfolios without increasing rental prices.
The government has introduced so many changes to rules and regulations in the sector that it could be argued that it is making it easier for rogue landlords to abuse the situation and take advantage. We work with several local authorities as they also evict tenants from their properties and many officers are unsure of all the current legislation impacting on the sector.
Surely it would be better to accept that as a country we are changing and becoming a nation of renters not home owners.
When I spoke to a couple of national letting agencies they mentioned that now a private landlord in England must now comply with around 150 rules and regulations, and even more if they want to let a property to someone in receipt of benefits. Again, confirms my argument that the government is forcing an underground letting sector, which is wrong.
Trading Standards, the Home Office, the Competition and Markets Authority, and local councils are all bodies that actually enforce these legislations you can see how easy it is for a rogue landlord to slip through. Having spoken to most at various times many seem to fail to identify when their jurisdiction ends and another starts.
As well as a disparity between enforcement bodies, the likihood of procescution differs depending on geographical location. From some basic research, there is a huge difference in rates of rogue landlord prosecutions. Just looking at London, Newham prosecuted 359, while Lambeth and Hammersmith each only managed nine.