RLA policy director David Smith said the sector “had ended up with a terribly increasing system of law,” at the Westminster private rented housing policy seminar on 12 November 2019.
“The government is creating more and more powers and regulation lumped onto councils without giving them any money to fund it.
“It ends up with the worst of both worlds, where landlords feel tenants have lots of rights and therefore it’s not in their interest to be in the sector any more,” Smith said.
Joe Lane, principal policy manager at Citizens Advice, agreed it was becoming harder for tenants and landlords to determine what their duties were “due to the sheer complexity of regulation in the private rented sector.”
Research by Citizens Advice has shown that a third of landlords “struggled to keep up with regulation,” while a quarter did not understand the repercussions of failing to follow the rules, Lane said.
Tenant Fees Act leading to hesitation
Theresa Wallace, head of lettings and customer relations at Savills, said since the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in June 2019, landlords had become confused about what they could and couldn’t do.
She said: “Agents and landlords are so scared of being in breach of legislation that they’re not agreeing to some requests from tenants.”