Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), has today met the Minister for Housing & Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP to discuss what the organisation thinks should be the Government’s priorities for the private rented sector (PRS).
Lambert was joined by other PRS organisations in the meeting, including representatives from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The wide-ranging discussion touched on all aspects of the sector, from the regulation of letting agents and the banning of letting fees, to security of tenure and previous proposals to a specialised Housing Court to improve access to justice.
Lambert addressed the issue of standards in the sector, welcoming the Government’s support for the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill and urged the Minister to prioritise enforcement activity to tackle the rogue operators who undercut the vast majority of good landlords and bring the sector into disrepute.
These calls echoed those recently made by the NLA Chairman, Adrian Jeakings, to the Communities & Local Government Select Committee which is currently undertaking inquiries into the private rented sector and the draft Bill to ban letting fees.
The year ahead will see a great deal of change in the PRS, with plans to extend mandatory HMO licensing, consult on introducing longer tenancies, and make minimum energy efficiency standards less lenient. Lambert pressed the Minister to think beyond simplistic calls for longer tenancies, and look at how best to incentivise landlords to offer a wider range of tenancies to cater for the increasingly diverse range of what tenants may need.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association said:
“I welcome the Minister’s willingness to talk to the NLA and other private rented sector representative organisations. With its self-professed focus on tackling the housing crisis, it is vital that the Government recognises and supports the prominent role that the private rented sector plays in housing over twenty percent of UK households.
Through the forthcoming ban on letting fees and other proposals the Government has shown it is more than willing to intervene in markets when it perceives them to be failing consumers. We urge the Minister and her colleagues to work with the NLA and others to ensure that any intervention made is necessary, proportionate and maintains a fair regulatory regime within which landlords can continue to run their business.”