A parliamentary inquiry is to examine whether councils have adequate powers to tackle ‘rogue’ landlords.
The Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into the role of local authorities in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will focus on the provision by councils of private rented accommodation and whether they have sufficient powers to deal with bad practices.
The inquiry will also examine barriers to intervention in the private rented sector, whether landlord licensing schemes are promoting higher quality accommodation and the effectiveness of complaint mechanism for tenants.
Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “With a big rise in the number of people renting over the last decade, there are real concerns about the ability of local authorities to protect tenants by tackling bad landlords and practices.
Our inquiry will examine how local authorities can carry out enforcement work to deal with rogue landlords as well as looking at approaches used by councils to provide private rented accommodation in their areas.”
The PRS has grown from 1 in 10 households in 2004 to 1 in 5 households in 2016 with the under-40s making up 70% of households.
The inquiry follows on from a Committee report published in 2013 which highlighted five key areas in which the Government should take action including: reviewing and simplifying the legislation covering the sector; giving local authorities the tools they need to enforce the law and raise standards; better regulation of letting agents; a cultural shift towards longer tenancies; and a renewed effort to boost housing supply.
Local authorities are set to be granted new powers to seek banning orders against rogue landlords/agents.
The Committee is now inviting written evidence in relation to:
- Do local authorities have the powers and capacity required to enforce standards in the private rented sector and deal with ‘rogue landlords’?
- What are the main obstacles to effective intervention in the private rented sector?
- How effective are landlord licensing schemes in promoting higher quality accommodation?
- What approaches have local authorities taken to promote affordable private rented sector accommodation in their areas?
- How effective are complaint mechanisms for tenants in the private rented sector?
Closing date for submissions is Friday, November 24.