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Update on Social Care Landlord Registration Scheme 19 April 2012

The Department of Social Care (DSC) in February 2012 announced that it intended to bring forward proposals for a Landlord Registration Scheme which aims to improve the quality of accommodation at the lower end of the private rented sector.

The consultation period for the principle of Landlord Registration is due to end on 27th April 2012 – if members of the public and interested parties wish to contribute to the consultation and have not already done so they have until the 27th April to submit their views as follows:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DSCLandlordRegistrationConsultation

Around 14% of residents on the Island live in private rented accommodation. A significant proportion of the private rental sector provides acceptable and appropriate housing solutions for many on the Island. However, at the lower end of this rental market a considerable number of private rented properties are known to be in poor repair and do not achieve standards of basic decency.

At present, Government is able to provide public sector tenants with decent living conditions and ensure that tenants are treated equitably and fairly. In contrast there is no regulation in terms of basic decency standards, which apply to the private sector rented sector.

Minister of Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:

“Responsible landlords have nothing to fear from the proposals but the small minority of irresponsible ones should see this as a clear and unequivocal warning that providing accommodation in the private sector which falls below a basic level of decency will no longer be accepted.”

Effective regulation of these landlords and their property portfolios is essential if tenants letting from them are to be confident that the services they receive meet the required standards.

This Scheme is the first step to addressing the issues of decency of accommodation within some areas of the private sector rental market. During 2012 – 2013 the Landlord Registration Scheme will be introduced on a voluntary basis.

The Department is also working on primary legislation which will provide the legal basis for the mandatory introduction of the Scheme at a later date. This will be contained in the Estate Agents and Landlords Bill which is being drafted jointly with the Office of Fair Trading.

The comments gathered as part of this consultation and feedback following the voluntary introduction of the Scheme will feed into the development of this legislation but the details of the Bill will be consulted on in full at a later date.

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