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Government proposes landlord register

The Government has proposed a register of private English landlords as part of its review of the private rented sector.

In response to the Rugg Review, an independent review of the private-rented sector brought out in October 2008, the Government has said it could introduce a register that would not only include a landlord’s name and home address, but also the addresses of their rental properties.

The national register would be run by an independent organisation and landlords would have to register every year. In return, landlords would receive a unique landlord registration number to be used in tenancy agreements, court proceedings including eviction, and housing benefit claims.

A similar compulsory landlord registration scheme has existed in Scotland for three years, but the National Association of Landlords says this scheme has been shown to not work with one in four rental properties not registered.

NLA chairman David Salusbury says: “The NLA would be opposed to the collection of rental property addresses. We consider this to be overly intrusive and of no direct benefit to tenants or landlords.

“The private-rented sector is already heavily regulated and many recent changes have yet to settle down. Any further regulation, therefore, has to be very carefully considered.

“If a register is introduced it needs to focus totally on pushing up standards and rooting out rogue landlords. Reform must be workable for landlords and not damage the private-rented sector. The challenge now for Government should be to focus on incentives and encouragement.”

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