NLA reveals Housing Act frustration

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

NLA chairman David Salusbury is worried the Act, to be implemented in 2006, may make landlords reconsider the environment they operate in and could have serious implications for the buy-to-let market.

Recent NLA studies revealed the primary concern of 73 per cent of its members was government regulation. Salusbury was unsurprised by this number due to the complexity and workings of the Act.

He said: “The Housing Act is a legitimate concern as the complexity of the legal framework is still to be fully worked out. What is clear is that more landlords will be subject to regulation than before. House shares that were previously outside of the property and regulatory framework will now be subject to the housing regulation.”

Salusbury confirmed the legislation is likely to see lenders widen their product scope, with properties previously not classified as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) now falling into this category.

He added that compliance issues still to be decided may push people away from the buy-to-let market. He commented: “It is hard to judge the level of compliance required for the Housing Act and the costs involved. Until we know this we can’t be certain of the impact, although we have to praise the government for agreeing to deal with the regulation with an initial light touch.”

The NLA also announced developments to its business plan and operations including further refinements of the NLA code of practice, practical tips for landlords and increased information to help landlords’ success.

With a marked increase in first-time landlords reported by Mortgage Trust’s latest buy-to-let survey the NLA also hopes to increase its membership.

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