Friday, 18 May 2012

So we make providing homes to rent more expensive - that will help the housing crisis!


The Welsh government (and plenty of English councils) are keen on the idea of "accrediting" private landlords.

The government will set out plans to improve the private rented sector and will expect landlords to register on an accreditation scheme.

It all seems like a great idea - we'll have a scheme that improves the quality of homes and management in the "sector". But the problem is that these schemes involve (this is from a voluntary one in Leeds):

Payment of a non-returnable application and membership fee.

And while this is fine if it's only a few quid, will it stay that way? If you inherit mum's terraced house and rent it out rather than sell, you'll end up losing a month's rent in accreditation to add to the month's rent in agent fees and the month's rent in costs. So you either sell or put the rent up.

This isn't simply a registration scheme but a means by which the sort of provisions under section 82 of the Housing Act 2004 become common-place.

In a selective licensing area the landlord must comply with the fit and proper person test included within the Housing Act 2004 to obtain a licence. His rented properties must be let within the terms of the licence conditions to ensure that the properties are safe and that the landlord can, and will, deal with anti-social tenants.

Accreditation is about exercising state-control over the private rental sector - it isn't about improving stock quality or housing management. It is expensive and the expectation is that the landlord will be picking up the cost - an act that simply makes housing more expensive.


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