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Launch of the Landlord and Tenant (Private Housing) Bill consultation and voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme 5 February 2013

The Department of Social Care (DSC) is launching a consultation to invite comments on draft legislation to ensure basic standards of decent accommodation in the Island’s private rented sector.

The Landlord and Tenants (Private Housing) Bill 2013, aims to achieve a fair and reasonable balance, between the rights of landlords and tenants in private rented tenancies. The Bill makes it illegal to operate as a landlord unless you are registered and meet a set of minimum standards.

The Department is also launching a voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme as a pilot for the Scheme that will become mandatory under the new legislation (more information below).

Minister of Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:

“Effective regulation of private rented housing is essential if existing and prospective tenants are to have confidence in private rented housing on the Island. This legislation is not about creating another layer of bureaucracy for landlords, it is about bringing together existing legislation and creating a set of minimum standards which landlords and their properties must meet. But it will give the Department the power to take action against the small minority of irresponsible landlords whose properties do not achieve standards of basic decency.”

The new legislation will:

  • Require landlords of rented dwellings, who are not exempt, to be registered;
  • Require landlords, and their rented dwellings to comply with minimum standards
  • Require landlords, who do not themselves meet the personal requirements set out in the minimum standards, to use a letting agent to manage their properties
  • Allow the Department of Social Care to enforce those minimum standards

The public consultation will run for six weeks ending at 5pm on Friday 22 March 2013.

More information on the Bill is available:

  • On the Department’s website – www.gov.im/socialcare/consultations.gov
  • Or by picking up a paper copy of the consultation document from the Department of Social Care, or Tynwald Library.

There are a number of ways to make sure your views are heard:

  • Email us: landlord.registration@gov.im
  • Complete our online survey: www.smart-survey.co.uk/s/LandlordBill
  • Write to us at: Department of Social Care, Markwell House, Market Street, Douglas, IM1 2RZ

Alongside the consultation on the draft Bill the DSC is also today launching a voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme.

The Minister added:

“Alongside the consultation on the draft Bill my Department is launching a voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme. This pilot will give landlords the opportunity to register for the Scheme voluntarily so that the process can be properly understood and tested before it becomes mandatory under the new Bill which, subject to Tynwald approval, we expect will come into operation from early 2014.”

The voluntary Scheme will provide landlords with the opportunity to become familiar with the process and minimum standards for registration, which will then become mandatory under the proposed legislation. It will also allow the Department to pilot the Scheme and receive feedback on the process.

More information and details on how to apply for the voluntary registration scheme can be found at: www.gov.im/socialcare/housing/vlrs.xml or by calling the Housing Division on 685187.

The Manx homelessness charity, Kemmyrk, has worked closely with the Department and has developed a set of model documents to assist landlords in the management of their tenancies. These include a model tenancy agreement and inventory. There is also useful information for tenants on their rights and responsibilities. These are all available at: www.kemmyrk.im

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