Here is a copy of the email I sent to the DCLG in response to there consultation following the Rugg Review.
Dear Mr Tandoh
This is quite a contentious issue – I listened to Julie Rugg present the report at the NLA conference last year and felt she made very good points
I have no problem with ensuring that landlords provide decent homes, I have been a tenant myself asnd now consider myself a professional landlord.
At the time there was a discussion at the conference centering around a heavy handed government response that would impact on most decent professional landlords because of a rogue few !!
Having read through an outlineof the proposals I personally think the approach suggested smacks more of income generation than of a real focus on quality control. £500 per house or £50 per house every few years – thats income generation not quality control.
Why not simply say that all landlords must join a professional body like the NLA or RLA and take the Accreditation Scheme course and exam (as I have in London) then as part of the process create a database. Second make it a condition of a legal AST that it includes the LAS registeration number. Make lettings agents responsible for checking all properties let through them comply. Then advertise to general public that if they want to be safe to make sure that they check their landlord on the database and make it searchable.
Thats easy – a database and a few rules – majority of funding goes to support an excellent course and system of ensuring that landlords know their duty. Then councils can simply have as part of one of their housing team, someone with responsibility to spot check rental properties, letting agents, ring up private adverts etc
Quality control is making the landlord hold a licence, ensure that they are professional trained, registered and have ongoing professional development through the LAS or local equivalent, and the NLA.
I would hope that the government could think outside the box on this and make a real change to the comfort, health and safety of a great many tenants, Clear out rogue landlords and similiarly protect decent professional landlords.
I hope that everyone writes to the Government
Private Rented Sector Team
Department for Communities and Local Government
1/C4 Eland House
We only have til 7th August to make our views heard J