Landlord Assist calls Government plans “impractical”

Nia Williams

February 5, 2010

As part of plans aimed at providing private tenants with more help and protection, it is reported that the Government plans to set up a new housing hotline offering advice to tenants who are having problems with their landlord.

In addition a new website, similar to travel website TripAdvisor, is also due to be launched on which tenants can post their views about their landlord and their accommodation.

But Graham Kinnear, managing director of Landlord Assist, is unconvinced of the merit of such a scheme.

He said: “Whilst everybody is in favour of the making the sector as transparent as possible, the measures outlined by the Government are simply impractical.

“Telephone helplines were introduced by the government for other issues and were unsuccessful. Will those answering the phones be suitably qualified in landlord and tenancy law, and will they carry appropriate liability insurance for the advice they offer?

“Likewise, whilst a rating website similar to TripAdvisor may seem like a good idea on paper, it would need to be policed properly to ensure that inaccurate or malicious content would not be displayed. After all, people are naturally more inclined to write about negative experiences than good ones.”

The Government also confirmed its intention of implementing a National Register for Landlords aimed at giving tenants information on the track record of prospective landlords including the condition of their properties and how quickly they fix any faults.

Kinnear concluded: “If there is to be a landlords register then surely it is only right that a similar register be introduced, on which landlords could feature tenants who have not paid rent, damaged property, sublet without permission plus other breaches of tenancy.”

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