Property Market: New Association Launches For Lodgers & Landlords

UK based entrepreneurs ‘Jerome Mcbean & Shaun Barrett’ have announced the launch of a brand new and forward thinking body, designed to provide better safeguards to the often over-exploited room rental lodgers market. The Lodger Landlords Association, also known as the ‘LLA’, was launched after its founders recognised an urgent need for better regulation and protection, for both lodgers and landlords across the UK.

From its inception, the ‘LLA’ will run with the simple but powerful concept of driving forward regulatory change in order to ensure lodgers are afforded the same level of protection as other areas of the private rental sector, with non-compliance being monitored and discouraged with a driving focus towards lobbying for the existence of legal framework.

The organisation will also provide amateur live-in landlords with comprehensive guidance and education to ensure they meet their legal and safety requirements, for an all round and encompassing improved, safer lodging process. The LLA have also developed insurance solutions specifically for landlords, designed to protect contents and avoid voiding existing cover when taking on a lodger. Other products include lodger deposit guard and viewing’s assistance.

Richard Blanco, National Landlords Association commented: “Many live-in landlords would benefit from education and guidance on best practice, the skills that Jerome and his team at the Lodger Landlords Association aim to deliver will properly equip all who desire to rent a room in their home, without the unnecessary pitfalls that not having the correct guidance can cause. Having rightly identified the need for such support, I would recommend those with lodgers take advantage of the membership, training and accreditation being offered, similarly to the NLA for the wider landlord community.”

‘Lodger Landlords Association’ spokesperson Patrick commented: “With accommodation prices soaring in the UK, especially within the boundaries of London, fewer professionals are able to physically afford the cost of housing in the capital and other major cities. The result is that more and more professional key-worker roles are going unfilled by the best candidates. This has been partially addressed by increased scrutiny preventing excessive letting agent fees, in the oversaturated rental market.

Though the new tenant fees ban that came into force June 1st 2019 includes a licence to occupy tenancy that encapsulates lodgers there remains an overall disregard for the safeguarding and protection of lodgers and landlords that generate over £3.3 billion pounds in the UK economy, leaving millions within this marketplace feeling bypassed as they continue to be the commonly ignored anomaly in the room rental sector.”

Patrick continued: “We’ve noticed a very significant theme arising from the lodging sector, based around serious concerns for deposit protection and exploitation of lodgers by landlords. In a recent survey conducted by Spareroom.co.uk, 65% of respondents had experienced issues with deposits being unfairly withheld. The average lodger deposit is £500 – up to £1000 in London, meaning that approximately £850m of unregulated and unprotected lodger deposits currently exist. This is simply unacceptable and the launch of the LLA is the first step to addressing very real issues such as this by supporting both lodgers and landlords.”

The LLA has five principal aims, which the organisation seeks to make a compulsory part of the lodging marketplace:

  • Lodgers will be afforded the protection of a clear written licence agreement and unambiguous inventory of the accommodation.
  • Deposits will benefit from full regulatory protection within an approved scheme, as per the conditions provided in other areas of the rental market.
  • Landlords will be provided with a source of best practice, guidance and education on providing lodging services.
  • Room rental / flat sharing platforms should be subject to some form of recognised regulation. Presently, platforms act as advertisements and are therefore not covered by the same rules as agents are. Given the central role in arranging lettings and lodgings, the LLA believe the platforms need to take more responsibility in terms of vetting to prevent vulnerable parties being exploited. The LLA want to help ensure flat-sharing platforms comply with with trading standards, CMA and ASA guidelines for consumers. Lodgers will also benefit from the initiative called the rental exchange which positively enhances their credit report for rent paid on time, as championed by the partnership of The Big Issue and Experian.
  • A maintained list of expelled landlords who do not comply with rules and regulations.

The LLA believe the umbrella inclusion of this protective framework will reduce the need for dispute resolution, increase integrity within the process and also provide enforcement against landlords who fail to abide by the rules in order to profit from lodgers. By incorporating this into regulation, the LLA will push for legally recognised mechanisms to make lodging safer and more compliant.

As part of their efforts to drive forward regulatory change for the better, the LLA is seeking to identify opportunities to develop industry ‘best practice’ and a membership scheme with other recognised bodies such as the National landlords Association (NLA), Resident Landlords Association (RLA), Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and others.

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