Earlier this summer, the former Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Margaret Beckett, announced plans for a mandatory landlord registration scheme in England. A landlord register already exists in Scotland, which requires every landlord to register with their local authority, but England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have yet to follow suit.
The objective of introducing a register is to raise standards and improve conditions for tenants. If passed into law, the Government's proposal will require the details of all landlords and management agents to be included on a national register. Any that fail to act in their tenants' best interests or protect deposits could be struck off the register and banned from renting property.
The plans also include provisions for: an independent regulator for all letting and managing agents; setting up an improved system for tenant complaints and redress; and a minimum notice of two months for tenants to leave if their landlord's property is repossessed - there have been some cases of people being given less than two weeks notice.
Consumer advocacy group Which? welcomed the proposals, with chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith commenting: "This is great news for the millions of people around the country who rent private accommodation. For too long tenants have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous landlords and letting agents with little or no redress."
** Additional Information & Advice **
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