Property passports should be introduced to help landlords prove their homes are compliant, decent and safe housing.
The call came from the National Residential Landlords Association.
The Government has proposed that the existing Decent Homes Standard should be extended to apply to the private rented sector, not just social housing, it said.
Passports would certify that property meet all legal standards. They would list improvements made and contain copies of all safety certificates. Tenants would be able to access the passport online.
Local authorities would be able to conduct spot checks to verify the passport is a true record of the state of the property.
NRLA said passports could bring together the 168 pieces of legislation already affecting the private rented sector. ‘What is needed is a standard that simplifies the measures that already exist and can be easily understood by tenants and landlords alike’, it said.
‘We want to make it easier for the vast majority of compliant landlords to prove to tenants what they already do, namely providing decent and safe housing. Those who do not would have no option other than to shape up or ship out’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.
‘This would be based on proving compliance with existing laws, not creating new regulations. With almost 170 laws affecting the private rented sector it can hardly be dubbed the wild west. What is needed is better understanding and enforcement of this existing legislation’.