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Increased regulation to be introduced to protect cave house renter

May 5, 2012

lifestyle

Hoorah! for the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Following swiftly on from an announcement by the National Landlords Association, that UK housing tenants are more in debt than at any time since the late 1980s, and with the global financial crisis still making lenders cautious about taking on first-time buyers without requiring a big deposit upfront, ARLA has announce new guidelines to protect tenants and homeowners who use letting agencies.

At a time when, despite falling house prices making buying more affordable (well – slightly more affordable than the incredibly bloated prices which have become commonplace over the past few years), few first-time buyers are able to venture onto that first rung of home ownership. This means there are a vast number of 20 to mid 30 somethings who are being forced to throw yet more money away by having to rent instead of buy.

Now as the doom and business gloom appears to be really setting in and redundancies are becoming commonplace, many of those who have to rent are being pressed even further, as work becomes less secure and landlords become more demanding and provide less assurances.

In the present climate, according to ARLA, there are many lettings agencies which are going out of business and are then owing landlords thousands of pounds. Money which the landlord will often try to recoup from the renter, or will skimp on maintenance costs.

The new scheme, while not providing a universal panacea for all the nations housing problems, is intended to not only protect tenants deposits more effectively than the existing government protection scheme, but will also ensure landlords hold professional qualifications and adequate professional insurance is in place, and will also create a licensing scheme which will see landlords who did not keep their property in good condition being struck off and have their licence revoked.

The new plan has already been hailed by Shelter, and having been on the wrong end of a bad landlord myself when I was at dinoversity, and not knowing of any way to prevent them doing it again to some other studentosaur, I wish something like this could have been in place all those millennia ago.

A word of caution should be sounded however, as Shelter Scotland points out that up here in wee Nessieland, where private landlords have been required to register for the last three years, some rogue landlords are still continuing to operate.

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