More details emerge of how agents will be involved in new PRS ‘portal’

More details have emerged of the government’s plans for an official ‘rental property portal’ for the private sector that will tie homes, landlords, redress and housing standards into one website.

The proposed initiative was buried in the detail of the briefing document released to accompany the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday but will have significant ramifications for both landlords and their agents.

Like in Wales and Scotland, each privately rented property in England will have to be registered on the site including its address, owner/landlord and the agent managing it, if applicable.

Each property record will be tied to any decisions made by the soon-to-be established ombudsman/redress scheme system for landlords, which will enable disputes between tenants and landlords to be mediated.

Targeted enforcement

Speaking at a GeoPlace conference this week, senior DLUHC PRS policy senior William Holmes said that: “It could provide more data to give local authorities accurate information on private rental properties, and support the targeted enforcement of standards based on a better understanding of the stock.

“Also, it could improve private landlords’ awareness of their obligations and be a conduit for communicating changes and provide tenants with more information on the standards of properties they are viewing and obligations a landlord could owe to them.”

It also understood that tenants would be urged to check a landlord’s or letting agent’s track record before committing to a property, and that the system could be used to block rogue landlords from the rental market, particularly if the property registration numbers are mandated to be in portal listings.

In Scotland and Wales, where their schemes are run more landlord rather than property orientated, landlords can be ejected from the register and barred from operating in the market.



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