NLA Chairman Gives Evidence to Parliamentary Committee

The NLA’s recently appointed Chairman, Adrian Jeakings, gave evidence to a Parliamentary committee yesterday on the issues of standards in the private rented sector and the Government’s Draft Tenant Fees Bill.

You can watch the evidence session on the Parliament.TV website here.

The Communities & Local Government Select Committee is currently conducting two inquiries that will impact upon landlords. The first inquiry is into the role of local authorities in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and is focusing on the provision by councils of private rented accommodation and whether they have sufficient powers to deal with bad practices.

The inquiry also examines barriers to intervention in the private rented sector, whether landlord licensing schemes are promoting higher quality accommodation and the effectiveness of complaint mechanism for tenants.

In giving evidence to the Committee on behalf of the NLA, Adrian Jeakings highlighted the range of powers that local authorities already enjoy to tackle poor practice in the private rented sector. The problem, however, is a lack of enforcement activity being undertaken, primarily as a result of a lack of adequate resources.

He highlighted how there has been no review of selective licensing so there's not enough evidence to actually judge how successful schemes have been in improving standards and driving out criminal landlords from the sector.

On the regulatory regime that controls the sector, Mr Jeakings argued that the sector requires stability and properly resourced enforcement action under the ample existing powers before any extra burdens or wholescale review of legislation should take place.

The NLA also submitted written evidence to the Committee which you can readhere.

The Committee is also undertaking pre-legislative scrutiny of the Government's proposals to ban letting fees imposed by landlords and letting agents on tenants. The draft Tenant Fees Bill was published 1st November and the Government has stated in its written evidence to the Committee that it will not come into force until Spring 2019 at the very earliest.

The NLA Chairman highlighted potential consequences of the fees ban on the PRS, including increased rents. The genuine costs of services provided by letting agents, or by actions taken by private landlords such as credit checks will still exist and be recovered wherever possible, most likely through marginally increased rents.

The NLA submitted evidence to the Committee on the draft Bill, which you canread here.

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