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Housing Minister promises “no more red tape” for private landlords

Music to my ears indeed.

Acccording to the CLG News, “Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister on Thursday 10 June 2010, promised England’s one million landlords that the Government has no plans to introduce new regulations on the private rented sector“.

New regulations were proposed by the previous administration in response to the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector, but have been judged by the new coalition to introduce too much additional red tape. These included a National Register of Landlords, regulation of letting and managing agents, and compulsory written tenancy agreements.

Speaking at the first Communities and Local Government questions since the formation of the Coalition Government, the Minister confirmed that the legal framework already in place strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants – with the vast majority of private tenants reporting they are satisfied with the service they get from their landlords.

Instead, Mr Shapps called on councils to use the wide range of powers already at their disposal to tackle the minority of rogue landlords that fail to provide good quality accommodation and blight local neighbourhoods.

Councils already have powers to require landlords to take action to rectify hazards in their property and where landlords resist, to make and charge for improvements, and to prohibit use of the affected parts of the property.

Local authorities also have discretionary licensing powers to tackle areas blighted by poorly managed privately rented stock.

Mr Shapps said:

With the vast majority of England’s three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

“So today I make a promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.

“But for the bad landlords, I am putting councils on alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected.

For those Landlords who have dealth with the Councils on these matters, you know that indeed, there are already statutory instruments in place for the Councils to deal with all these matters, if they were minded to do so. Labour’s idea of using the stick to deal with minor issues was outrageous and completely overbearing, to say the least. By tying us in red tape, they could create more jobs in the public sector, increasing the tax burden on ordinary folk, and driving the economy further into the red. Even I could see that…. how come they couldn’t??

Next step is to get rid of the planning requirements for small HMOs. Come on, Honourable Minister!

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