Quarterly Report Nick Clay 02/09/2021

In Focus (2021 Qtr 2): Licensing & regulation


This Quarter 2 survey focuses on issues around regulation, licensing, and possible future developments in policy.

Landlords were asked about licensing and their experience of local licensing authorities during Covid-19. Landlords also gave their views on possible regulatory innovations – specifically redress schemes and lifetime deposits. Following on from previous surveys, the topic of Property MOTs as an alternative to local licensing schemes was revisited. 

Finally, the NRLA worked in partnership with Battersea Dogs’ Home to better understand landlord attitudes towards letting tenants who own cats and/or dogs.  

2021 Qtr 2 In Focus: licensing & regulation

Last updated: 03/09/2021 at 12:27 - 621.54 KB


Key issues in licensing

Among the key issues discussed in the report:

  • Landlord satisfaction with tenant deposit providers has risen since last year’s study. The increase in satisfaction has been across all key measures.
  • Over a quarter of landlords now use online services to meet at least some of their letting and management agency needs. 
  • Evidence about local licensing continues to indicate landlord dissatisfaction.
    • The lack of accountability and the absence of a conversation between local licensing authorities and landlords continues to frustrate.
  • Licensing fees continue to be a ‘black hole’ with an absence of results and reporting.

There is support for scheme and policy innovation to which landlords contribute financially. However,there appears little confidence among landlords in the ability of local authorities to deliver any scheme which improves the experience of private renting. Support for a national scheme is high BUT only if it works as a replacement for local licensing schemes.

In Wales there are renewed calls for Rent Smart Wales to be scrutinised via an independent evaluation.

Landlords & pets

Two thirds of landlords are willing to let property to tenants with a pet (by which here we mean a cat or a dog). Many landlords require advanced permission. Landlords are more reluctant to let to tenants with a cat or dog when letting a property with no garden or access to open space.

Landlords have a range of legitimate concerns about tenants keeping pets. A range of mechanisms exist which may help some landlords overcome their caution (often based on past experience). However, it should always be borne in mind that many properties in the PRS are simply not suitable for cats or dogs, whilst many landlords are themselves restricted by lease conditions.

2021 Qtr 2 In Focus: licensing & regulation

Last updated: 03/09/2021 at 12:27 - 621.54 KB

Nick Clay

Nick Clay Research Manager

Nick Clay MSc, PgDip is the lead researcher for the NRLA. He previously worked for the RLA where he introduced the Landlord Confidence Index. Nick takes responsibility for the Research Observatory's content and rigorous approach to data analysis. He is a Certified Member of the Market Research Society.

Nick was formerly a Senior Economist for a multi-national consultancy. He has expertise in business support and entrepreneurship. He has written academic research, undertaken evaluations and developed strategies for business support organisations across England & Wales.

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