Whilst much of the news from the Conservative Party conference in Manchester this week has focused on the Prime Minister’s supposed spat with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (and plenty of unnecessary footage of him in his running shorts!), there was also some very important news for the PRS.
In his speech, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid announced a pledge to offer private tenants greater rights by making it compulsory for landlords to register with an ombudsman scheme, similarly to the redress schemes in which it is currently compulsory for agents are required to belong to.
The initiative, more detail of which will be announced in the Autumn Budget on November 22nd, has been designed to improve the dispute resolution system for tenants.
He also announced:
- A consultation on a new housing court, potentially designed to better manage possession/rent arrears cases – many of the industry bodies have been lobbying for this for a long time.
- A proposal to ensure that all letting agents are registered, ensuring that they can no longer work without relevant skills or qualifications. The Scottish government are currently implementing a programme by which all agent must meet and abide by training regulations and ongoing codes of conduct, so it is likely that this will follow the same pattern.
- Incentives to ensure that landlords offer tenancies of at least 12 months
After 20 years of our campaigning falling on deaf ears, we’re very pleased the Government has taken the decision to regulate the private rented sector. This will be the single greatest step forward in a generation, in terms of consumer protection for private tenants, and will do more to clean up the image of the industry than the hundreds of smaller laws and pieces of legislation introduced over the last 20 years. However, regulation can take different forms, and we need to see the detail of proposal to be confident that it will be effective for tenants and landlords.CEO of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox
You can watch Sajid Javid’s speech here:
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