There are strong forces at work in both Northern Ireland and Wales to introduce a range of control mechanisms for the private rented sector. These initiatives are further indication of the way that the wind is blowing in the UK. Although ARLA and NAEA, now with RICS as the National Federation of Property Professionals, have been campaigning hard for the proper regulation of agents in the UK, it looks as though the pressure for a national register of landlords is also gaining momentum.
Oxford City Council published its initial response to the HMO changes last week and it would seem that they have avoided the self certification by landlords, for HHSRS as a condition of planning permission.
In Northern Ireland, where over 16% of residential property is in the private rented sector, the Social development minister has tabled plans that include a mandatory registration of landlords and an education program to ensure that landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The proposals will be put before the assembly later this year with a view to becoming law early in 2011.
In Wales, there is a current consultation ongoing that is looking at a rage of measures some of which are in force in England and some which certainly look like they are on the cards. Measures being considered include: A national register of landlords; Independent regulation of letting agents; a review of why tenancies end to encourage landlords to increase the term of tenancies.