The NLA is worried that the new Act will impose additional burdens on landlords in the private rented sector which could discourage landlords from staying as investors in the sector, and that there will be little, if any, benefit for those tenants which the Act is intended to help. The NLA will be highlighting its concerns as it responds to the consultation, which the government is carrying out before implementing the detailed provisions of the Act.
“In particular we feel that the licensing scheme created by the Housing Act has to be implemented in a simple and straightforward way”, said NLA Chairman, David Salusbury. “Only by doing that will the government be able to ensure that those they would consider to be good landlords do not feel trapped by a complicated and over-regulated system. It would be a disaster for the private rented sector and its many hundreds of thousands of tenants, often the most disadvantaged in our society, if as a result of over regulation, many highly-conscientious landlords decided to sell up and leave the private-rented sector entirely. The NLA is committed to raising standards across the sector. To assist in achieving that any licensing scheme must be light of touch so as to encourage the responsible landlord to continue investing in property to rent and to achieve higher standards. Such an approach must remain a priority if the sector is to flourish”.
Tenancy deposits remain an area of controversy. The NLA fully accepts that deposits belong to tenants and has no truck with the small minority of landlords who wrongly withhold them.
David Salusbury continued: “Certain interest groups have however exaggerated the scale of the problem. The NLA is concerned that the new Act could lead to a disproportionately bureaucratic system. This would help no one, least of all those tenants who need the deposit money quickly to fund a deposit on their next tenancy. The NLA nevertheless welcomes the government’s apparent flexibility in this matter, and in line with the Housing Act intends putting forward proposals for a simple system for an in-house scheme for safeguarding tenancy deposits”.