193 Views

Landlords – fit and proper people?

The proposed changes would mean tougher regulation for landlords (photo: guardian.co.uk)

The proposed changes would mean tougher regulation for landlords (photo: guardian.co.uk)

Landlords may have to be deemed “fit and proper” before being allowed to let properties in the private sector, according to a new government-commissioned report.  The report by the Law Commission outlines that Landlords in the future may have to apply for a license before renting properties.

The proposed changes aim to help people living in below-standard accommodation who do not have the money to pursue action against landlords through the courts.  A regulatory shake-up is widely seen as important during an economic downturn, when less people can afford to buy houses and are turning to renting.

The report comes at a critical time for Sussex students, as our landlords can now charge up to £90 a week, as outlined by the University’s regulations.  The student lettings market in Brighton is booming, with a 50% increase in the number of student properties over the last 4 years.

Sussex’s housing office currently works under an accreditation scheme whereby the University rewards landlords who are in accordance with all their regulations by letting them charge more per room per week, providing they have a valid certificate of accreditation.

If the licensing scheme is enforced, all landlords, whether recommended by an institution or not, would have a strict set of regulations for their properties.

Richa Kaul-Padte, Welfare Officer for the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU), said in response to proposed licensing: “This is exactly what we have been urging the universities and [Brighton and Hove] Council to enforce – stronger, stricter accreditation laws. With students all across Brighton living in sub-standard accommodation that is often in violation of HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) regulations, there is increasing discontent from the local community.  Mandatory licensing for landlords will allow the rights of students to be protected during what is already a very volatile situation.”

The housing minister, Margaret Beckett, also praised the report, adding: “Whilst the majority of people are satisfied with their experience of renting, there is still much more to do to protect the most vulnerable tenants from the minority of unscrupulous landlords.”

“[This] will allow the rights of students to be protected”

With the introduction of a licensing scheme it is hoped that landlords will be unable to abuse their positions of power.  The suggested form of licensing would mean that they would have to be deemed “a fit and proper person”, which the report outlines as someone who has not previously broken housing regulations.
Stricter regulation should mean that tenants have a more secure form of letting, knowing that there are certain things a landlord would be obliged by law to do.  To breach these terms or regulations would mean, in the most extreme cases, a prohibition from letting altogether.

Toby Hamilton, from MTM Property Services, a local student lettings agency, says he “whole heartedly embraces the new plans”, but that “Looking at the bigger picture, looking at the credit crunch … [the implementation of licenses] won’t help the recovery of the housing market … none of us need unscrupulous landlords, they give landlords and letting agents a bad name.”

The report does express certain fears that the costs of the implementation of these recommendations could damage the already diminishing housing market.  It comes at a delicate point in the “credit crunch”, when attempts to stabilise the market have proven largely unfruitful.

The report dismissed an alternative system based on “self-regulation”, where particular organisations or “schemes” would be responsible for making sure landlords are maintaining the required standards.  In practice the report says that such schemes might not have the authority to effectively enforce regulations.
The report says that enforcing the recommendations would improve the reputation of the private sector and lead to “greater investment”.  It also argues that increased reputation would create competition and should lead to better standards of housing.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
965 views1
Campus News
965 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
278 views
Arts
278 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
285 views
Arts
285 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
266 views
Arts
266 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
324 views
Arts
324 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
345 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
305 views
Arts
305 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
283 views
Arts
283 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
436 views
Campus News
436 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
235 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
733 views
Arts
733 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
293 views
Arts
293 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
381 views
Artist Focus
381 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
298 views
Interview
298 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
363 views
Arts
363 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
428 views
Arts
428 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
440 views
Arts
440 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
344 views
Artist Focus
344 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
376 views
Books
376 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
482 views
Science
482 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
400 views
News
400 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…