RLA calls for smarter enforcement as councils fail to use new powers to tackle rogue landlords

November 04, 2019

One of the UK’s leading landlord bodies has urged political parties to give councils the resources to enforce current buy-to-let regulations rather than impose further legislation on the sector.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said the industry needs “smarter enforcement, not more regulation” after new anayalist by the organisation found buy-to-let regulations have increased by 32% since 2010, from 118 in 2010 to 156 in 2019.

The research found that while the government continued to crackdown on landlords and letting agents, councils were failing to use their new powers to take action against criminal landlords.

Analysis by the RLA in 2017/18, found two-thirds of councils had not started any prosecutions against private landlords who had failed to comply with legal standards.

During the same period, 89% of councils told the RLA they had not used new powers to issue Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 against private landlords who committed an offence, with 53% of local authorities admitting they did not have a policy in place to enforce these powers.

Ahead of December’s general election, the RLA is urging all political parties to improve enforcement of current regulation rather than placing more compliance strain on the sector.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Removing criminal landlords from the sector will only be achieved if councils have the resources and the will to properly use the wide range of powers they already have.

“Piling more regulations onto the sector which will continue not to be properly enforced is meaningless and serves only to put off good landlords from providing the homes to rent we need.”