The private rented sector: first report of session 2013-14: Vol. 2 Oral and written evidence

House of Commons papers 50-II 2013-14

Corporate Author:
Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee
Author:
Clive Betts (chairman)
Publisher:
TSO (The Stationery Office)

This report proposes bringing regulation for letting agents up to the level of that for estate agents. This would give the Office of Fair Trading the power to ban agents who act improperly. The report also demands action to crack down on hidden and unreasonable fees and charges imposed by letting agents. The Committee calls for barriers to longer tenancies to be removed. In return for offering longer tenancies, landlords should be able to evict tenants much more quickly when they fail to pay their rent. Tenants and landlords are often unaware of their rights and responsibilities. Legislation covering the private rented sector should be consolidated and made easier to understand. After this, there should be a publicity campaign to promote awareness of tenants' and landlords' rights and responsibilities. The Committee also raises concerns about the physical standard of private rented property. Local authorities should be given the ability to recoup housing benefit payments when a landlord is convicted of letting property below legal standards. Similarly, tenants should be able to reclaim rent paid from their own resources if their landlord is convicted. Local authorities should also be given more freedom and flexibility to raise standards. The Committee also recommends: to end the vicious circle where, in some areas, over-inflated levels of housing benefit drive up rents, in turn increasing the housing benefit bill still further; to promote closer working between HMRC and local authorities, to tackle evasion of capital gains and income tax; to revisit the Committee's report on the Financing of New Housing Supply

Extent [8], Ev 309p. ISBN 9780215060808
Size N/A Price £23.50
Format Paperback Published 18 Jul 2013
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