Time to crack down on the crackdowns

Published: 18/09/2014

There doesn’t seem to be a month that goes by without further regulations for landlords being proposed or introduced. Rob Denman thinks it’s about time the government loosens these shackles for the benefit of everyone involved:

“I’m a big fan of the TV programme Dragons’ Den. I love seeing the often weird and sometimes wonderful ideas and products people come up with. And I’m not alone; the show often pulls in close to 3million viewers. I think it’s because we’re a nation who celebrates the entrepreneur. We admire people who have that ‘get up and go’ attitude, who take a passion or a dream and run with it. Except, it would seem, if that person is a landlord.

“The private rental industry is huge, having almost doubled in the last 15 years. The industry brings in approximately £33bn a year. To put this in context the fashion industry is currently worth £26bn.

“Yet instead of celebrating this success, instead of supporting landlords, the government is making things harder. And why? Because there are a minority of landlords who are letting low standard accommodation. I’m sure this is the only industry where there are a few rogue characters! The mechanic who charges you a small fortune when all you needed was a brake light repairing. Or a plumber who claims you need a new boiler when actually the pressure just needs releasing.

“Yet these industries are not being penalised in the same manner as landlords.

“In the last few months there have been proposals for landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, talk of introducing rent caps and, most recently, imposing lending regulations on 'accidental’ landlords. It’s no wonder landlords are at the end of their tether.

“It’s important to remember the demand for rental property is not because landlords are squeezing out potential buyers. There are numerous reasons why wannabe homeowners are unable to buy just as there are a number of people who prefer to rent than buy.

“Demand is huge and supply needs to be addressed. How can we do this? By encouraging existing and new landlords to invest in further properties, not throw obstacle after obstacle in their path. By failing to help address the imbalance the government is allowing rogue landlords to thrive; tenants have little other options but to rent ‘beds in sheds’ or similarly poor quality accommodation. If there was a greater choice for tenants then the bad landlords are more likely to go out of business.”

Content correct at time of publication

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