MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson has criticised 'amateur' landlords in the private rented sector, and introduced a bill seeking to place greater responsibilities on landlords to deal with problem tenants and anti-social behaviour.
Wilson is calling for a private landlords' register to be set up (I think we've heard this before somewhere). He also wants to make landlords responsible for their tenants' anti-social behaviour, and wants to force landlords to contribute more to the local community.
Wilson said: "The private rented sector is rife with problems. Some 36% of Shelter advice queries come from private renters, more than double the proportion in the population at large. Satisfaction is lower, and accommodation is more likely to be of a poor standard."
He went on to condemn landlords who have "little or no experience, knowledge or understanding of their responsibilities and the complex legal framework of renting... the vast majority are amateurs without the skills and wherewithal to deal with being a private landlord. The buy-to-let market has led to a huge increase in such landlords.
"If in nine years’ time – by 2020 – one in five of our homes is a private let, the whole sector will need to be professionalised. The private rented sector is the only sector that is currently expanding. The sector is necessary, but it needs to live up to its responsibilities. I have seen that for myself in my communities."
Fortunately for landlords his bill is unlikely to become law due to a shortage of parliamentary time.
The private rented sector could of course be 'professionalised' very easily, by simply requiring all landlords to use a fully regulated letting agent!
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