Landlords to be contacted in government PRS survey

by Gary Whittaker

The government is launching a new survey of landlords working in the private rental sector (PRS), which may help inform future policies in this area.

Participation will be strictly by invitation only, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has noted, so this will not be a chance for any landlord to weigh in with their own views. However, those invited will get to do so.

Launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the survey will be the first of its kind in more than a decade and around 100,000 landlords will be contacted. 

The government's research partners include Muttonbird Research, whose managing director and founder Shane Brownie explained to the RLA website the idea behind the survey, which he said was important because of the increased number of people living in PRS homes. 

He stated: "The survey asks questions about landlords, their agents, the kind of properties they let, the people they let to, the problems they might encounter, and how legislative changes might impact on landlords and their businesses."

This will help the government to "gain a more thorough and accurate understanding of the private rented sector" that will help inform future policy. 

Many landlords will be very glad to get the chance to explain what their experience of being a landlord is in the current climate, not least in view of the various impacts of existing policies and a range of proposed changes in the future.

Among the current policies that are causing concern is the 'right to rent' law, which places a duty of landlords to carry out checks that tenants have the legal right to be living in the UK.

Earlier this month, the RLA revealed it is backing two legal cases against the rules, one from a woman who came to Britain as a refugee but whose passport was lost by the Home Office when she tried to extend her visa. 

Her lawyers argue that her consequent inability to provide documents to landlords to prove her eligibility constitutes a breach of her rights as a 'stateless' person under the Human Rights Act.
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27-February-18General Lettings News