“We want to tackle the minority of bad landlords,”  Says Government Minister

Dec 8th 2009

Speaking at the NLA National Conference 2009 on Friday 20 November, Ian Austin MP, Minister with responsibility for the private-rented sector, was rigorously questioned about government plans to introduce a national register of landlords in England.

Landlord delegates from around the country were trying to get to the bottom of precisely how a national register would root out the rogue operators. Other topics discussed ranged from Local Housing Allowance and the licensing of letting agents to HMO Licensing and Tenancy Deposit Protection, but the landlord register remained the most controversial topic for discussion.

In a longer than scheduled question and answer session, Ian Austin MP said;

"I’m not going to duck the issue. It’s in your interests as much as mine that those who bring down your sector are dealt with. But I can’t flick a switch in Whitehall and expect the whole system to change overnight. It’s important we get the legislation right rather than rushing it through."

In response to the Minister, David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said:

"I do ask that you take away the very clear message that reputable landlords are giving today – we simply don’t agree with further regulation. If you think ‘regulation’, think again."

He went on to say, after the Conference:

"It was a great pleasure to welcome the Minister to our national conference and we look forward to working with him and his team in the future.

"However, it is quite clear that even government do not know how a landlord register will find those rogue landlords who work so hard at keeping themselves under the radar. It is this small minority which brings the whole private-rented sector into disrepute and the NLA is determined to ensure that government measures focus on this and not over-burdening the law-abiding majority."

A full report on the NLA National Conference 2009 will appear in the next edition of UKLandlord, due out in the New Year.