Government updates its PRS enforcement guidance for local authorities

Author: Rent Guarantor

17/10/2019

The Government's Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has updated its Private Rental Sector enforcement guidance for local authorities. The updated toolkit and knowledge bank are there to help local authority’s PRS enforcement team understand exactly what they should expect from landlords operating in their area, which rules they need to enforce and why they need to be enforced.

The updated guidance for local authorities comes as the UK Government has been increasingly supportive of PRS tenants and their right to a safe, secure rental home that’s managed by landlords and lettings agents who know the rules and follow them.

With more funding now available for local authorities to engage with and punish rogue landlords, this updated guidance for them should help ensure the correct procedures are followed where landlords and letting agents aren’t doing what they should be.

What’s in the updated toolkit?

The updated PRS enforcement toolkit and knowledge bank includes an interactive learning module for local authorities to use. It includes a variety of questions on topics such as:

  • The size of the UK’s PRS.
  • What rules PRS landlords and letting agents should follow.
  • Why enforcement is necessary.
  • The importance of proactive engagement and enforcement.

Indeed, while the toolkit is designed for local authorities and government workers, it’s something that could be useful for PRS landlords and lettings agents too, or at least parts of it. As well as the toolkit learning element, there’s also a useful knowledge bank for users to search and use when they need specific questions answered.

By providing updated guidance for PRS landlords and letting agent enforcement teams to learn from, this content, toolkit and knowledge bank is designed to help make sure the already low number of rogue landlords around the country, is effectively reduced even further.

Action good for landlords and tenants

While not everyone might initially agree that this updated guidance for local Government workers is a positive move for the PRS industry, when you take the time to think about it carefully, you come to realise that it really is a good move.

The reason is that when more local Government PRS enforcement teams understand the full situation and all the rules that are important in the sector, they can more easily and quickly identify situations where a landlord or letting agent is acting against the rules and is a rogue landlord or agent.

Then, once that has been identified discussions and action – where required – can be taken to stop and change that behaviour, more quickly. This results in more tenants feeling confident that their local authorities will deal with PRS problems and rogue landlords.

It’s also good for landlords and letting agents who do work hard to follow the rules and provide safe and secure homes for their tenants. That’s because by effectively acting to improve the PRS, it helps showcase that actually, there are many more good landlords and agents operating in the PRS than there are bad or rogue ones.