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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Love calls for regulation

Just days after the Coalition scrapped the Labour Party's plans to regulate the private rental sector an early day motion by Labour MP Andrew Love proposes that the private rental sector be fully regulated.

More than 25 MPs so far have signed the Early Day Motion; these include Labour MPs Glenda Jackson & Dennis Skinner.

This move highlights the huge divide in thinking between the approach of the two main political parties in respect of the private rental sector. The Tories clearly believe in a light touch approach.
Witness the recent moves by Grant Shapps the Housing Minister to quickly remove controls on landlords. Property Hawk and I believe the Tories believe that ultimately it is for the tenant and landlord to make a business decision as to whether they enter into a contractual relationship of tenant and landlord; subject to the law that control the letting of property.

The Labour Party instead believe that landlords cannot be trusted and need some kind of control or regulation in order for the state to ensure that only 'good' landlords can let property.

This approach is consistent with both parties historic approach to the private rental sector. The Labour party was responsible for bringing in a series of rent controls and other regulation on security of tenure which practically killed off the private rental sector by the early nineteen eighties. It was only at the instigation of the Conservative Party led by Margret Thatcher that these controls were removed and replaced by the Assured Shorthold Tenancy created by a new Housing Act 1988.

It also highlights the fact that the two main parties are NOT 'all the same' and that there is a huge ideological gulf in approach to the private rental sector.

The Early Day Motion reads: “That this House notes with concern the Government’s decision to abandon plans for a national register of landlords and further regulation of the private rented sector; recognises that the private rented sector plays a significant role in supporting the housing market in the UK; believes that rogue landlords and letting agents continue to pose a threat to consumers in the private rented sector; further notes the statistic from the Office of Fair Trading that the number of complaints against rogue landlords and letting agents is on the rise; and calls on the Government to bring forward proposals immediately to create a national register of landlords and to propose further regulation of landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector.”

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When will these buffoons get real? They can never in a million years rid us of rogue landlords or estate agents, in the same way that pirates of the high seas never die: no matter how well intentioned the extra bureaucracy may be! All we need is a national publicly available mechanism for Naming and Shaming the rogues to both discourage the rogue behaviour and stop them in their tracks. Ebay manages to squeeze out rogue traders through their point - scoring systems so it is not an impossible dream to have a Self-regulating industry by means of voluntarily sharing information. And this website would be an excellent place to start such a scheme.....