Red tape milestone: There are now over 125 pieces of legislation affecting the private rented sector


There are now over 125 pieces of legislation and regulations governing the private rental sector, according to research undertaken by Letting Agent Today.

According to the publisher “the total of over 125 tells only part of the story, for LAT’s research suggests that over 80 of those laws and statutory regulations have been introduced since 1990 – an indication of how governments of both major parties have been squeezing the sector with additional bureaucracy”.

The large body of individual laws and regulations introduced lend weight to the argument that it is time for someone (perhaps our new housing minister?) to consider alleviating bureaucratic burden of agents and landlords.

The research from letting agent today found some interesting stats regarding the pace of change in the law in recent years:

· Since the Conservative-led coalition government came to office in 2010, over 20 laws or regulations have come into effect; in the single decade of the 1990s, during the Thatcher era and the early Blair years, there were over 30 measures.

· Many of the oldest examples of laws, although technically still operational, are unlikely to be invoked today; the longest-standing of them all is around 290 years old.

· As the remaining 55 or more measures date back almost 300 years, this gives a clear snapshot of how legislation and regulation of the private rental sector has rapidly accelerated in the modern era.

Author Graham Norwood argues:

“While almost any activity that has existed for hundreds of years will inevitably have a substantial body of law applying to it (and renting property has certainly been around for centuries in the UK) the sheer number of pieces of legislation still on the statute books and applying to agents and/or landlords adds weight to the argument put forward by some bodies that the lettings sector has far too much red tape”.

You can find the full list of legislation affecting the private rented sector here

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