Landlord Regulations Rocket By A Third
The number of regulations affecting landlords has risen by a third since 2010, new research reveals.
According to the Residential Landlords' Association (RLA), the number of new laws that created an obligation for private sector landlords grew by 32% since 2010.
The RLA says that the number of regulations rose from 118, when a Conservative-led coalition came into power, to 156 regulations today.
Now the association says the growing legislation has not led to an improvement in enforcement action against rogue landlords. That's because, the RLA says, many councils are still failing to use the powers they have already.
'Removing a criminal landlord from the sector'
The RLA's policy director, David Smith, said: "Removing a criminal landlord from the sector can only be achieved if councils have the will and resources to use their range of powers.
"Piling on more regulations which will not be properly enforced on the sector is meaningless, and serves to put off good landlords from delivering homes we need to rent."
He added: "Now is the time for smart enforcement and not for more regulation."
The RLA's research highlights that in 2017/18, two in three councils had not started any prosecutions against rogue landlords.
However, 89% of councils also admitted to not using their powers for issuing civil penalties for a range of offences against a private landlord.
Rent controls in the private rental sector will hurt tenants
The Residential Landlords' Association is also warning that rent controls in the private rental sector will hurt tenants.
They say that these controls will have a negative impact and lead to the supply of rental homes to rent dry up. There's also the potential, in some cases, for rent controls to push up rent prices.
The RLA was responding to a call from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who wants the power to introduce rent controls across London and the RLA has looked at rent controls and their impact around the world.
Of the examples they found, the RLA says that in San Francisco and Los Angeles, researchers found that tenants are more likely to struggle with housing affordability than a homeowner will. Also, rent stabilisation and rent control laws saw a drop in the supply of rental homes.
In Berlin, rents grew by 10% after the controls were introduced when previously they had risen by up to 2% every year.
One German institute says: "Contrary to the policymakers' expectations, the rental brake has had no impact. At worst, it's accelerated rent increases."
Mr Smith said: "The research shows clearly that rent controls are not the tenants' panacea. Far from making renting a home cheaply, world experience shows it can become more expensive or difficult finding a home to rent."