Communities and Local Government CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Mark Walton

Regulation

Landlords and Agents should be subject to minimum standards not just Agencies. We are Landlords and Agents and we are members of NLA, NAEA, ARLA and TPO and we do not see why all Landlords and Agencies should not be required to conform to the same standards. A Tenant should not be treated differently if they go direct to a Landlord as opposed to an Agency!

The Housing act provides minimum standards to protect all types of Tenants especially those living in HMO’s. If the Housing Act is correctly policed then there is more than enough protection for Tenants.

Landlords are not afforded sufficient protection from Tenants who do not pay rent or damage the property. The system to evict Tenants takes to long so by the time a Landlord recovers possession of their property the Tenant can be more than six months in arrears (often far more than six months) with no means to pay what they owe.

Rent Control

Tenants are looking for different types of property to rent. Landlords are providing different types of property for rent. We currently have diversity so that there is choice for Tenants. There will only be choice for the Tenants if rental levels are allowed to be set by Landlords and Agencies as this encourages competition. If rent control is introduced I can see standards of properties dropping as there will be no incentive to spend money on them. This would effect the higher priced properties first as the rental income will have dropped but it would then effect the middle and lower priced properties—Tenant will rent a better property at the Rent Control maximum as opposed to a poorer property. Rent control will halt and reverse the generally improving standards in the Private Rented sector and it will take choice away from Tenants—this can’t be the intension!

Rent control would also make policing of The Housing Act much harder than it already is as Landlords would try and cut corners if they are getting less rent.

If anyone would like to discuss any of the above please do not hesitate contacting me.

January 2013

Prepared 16th July 2013