Landlord group want more support for councils not laws to help Manchester tenants

Tenants in Manchester are being let down by proposals from political parties which are not rooting out criminal landlords, according to the Residential Landlords Association.

The RLA believes proposals from Labour and the Green Party sound ‘good and simple,’ but in fact would do nothing to help tenants in Manchester.

There are over 100 laws containing over 400 regulations governing the private rented sector, therefore the RLA believes a shortage of regulations is not the problem but instead the ‘inability’ of hard pressed local authorities to properly enforce them.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Tenants in Manchester are being let down by a bidding war between some parties about who can clobber landlords the most. Such a tone is cheap politics that achieves nothing.

“Councils are unable to enforce the vast array of powers they already have to tackle criminal landlords so there is no point adding more.”

The RLA believe that political proposals which are designed to please their supporters are instead failing tenants in an area which has one of the highest concentrations of private rented housing in the country.

They are calling for a more ‘intelligent’ approach and the RLA’s proposal is for a change to council tax forms which will provide local authorities with the information they need to target resources on the ‘crooks’.

The RLA wants a change in law to make council tax forms ask households the tenure of their property and details, where rented, of the landlord, and to make this a mandatory requirement.

Tenants are already legally bound to have their landlord’s details when they sign a new tenancy and so will be able supply the information.

Where a tenant is unable to provide this information it would then sound alarm bells and provide councils with the intelligence they need to investigate. Where necessary, the property owner could be found using the land registry database.

Mr Ward added: “We need to get smarter and the RLA’s proposal on council tax forms is a pragmatic, workable solution that will greatly help councils crack down on criminal landlords and so protect tenants with no extra costs involved.”

Details of the RLA’s proposed reforms to Council Tax forms can be found here

Image courtesy of Dan Pope, with thanks.

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