Date Published 06 July 2012

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today promised England's one million landlords that the Government has no plans to introduce new regulations on the private rented sector.

New regulations were proposed by the previous administration in response to the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector, but have been judged by the new coalition to introduce too much additional red tape.
These included a National Register of Landlords, regulation of letting and managing agents, and compulsory written tenancy agreements.House covered in red tape

Speaking at the first Communities and Local Government questions since the formation of the Coalition Government, the Minister confirmed that the legal framework already in place strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants, with the vast majority of private tenants reporting they are satisfied with the service they get from their landlords.

Instead, Mr Shapps called on councils to use the wide range of powers already at their disposal to tackle the minority of rogue landlords that fail to provide good quality accommodation and blight local neighbourhoods.

Councils already have powers to require landlords to take action to rectify hazards in their property and where landlords resist, to make and charge for improvements, and to prohibit use of the affected parts of the property.

Local authorities also have discretionary licensing powers to tackle areas blighted by poorly managed privately rented stock.

He said:

"With the vast majority of England's three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

"So today I make a promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.

"But for the bad landlords, I am putting councils on alert to use the range of powers already at their disposal to make sure tenants are properly protected."