According to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Propertymark, more than half – 52% – of local authorities in England have not had a landlord forum since 2021.
The purpose of landlord forums is for local authorities to engage with landlords and property agents about new legislation, share best practice and to receive feedback on national and local issues impacting the private rental sector.
Propertymark wrote to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Jacob Young, earlier this month to stress the importance of the UK Government providing local authorities with the resources to hold landlord forums and pressing the Minister to encourage councils to hold them too.
Last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Private Rented Sector warned that UK government reforms to the private rented sector cannot succeed without adequate resources to guarantee they can be enforced.
Some of the provisions contained in the Renters Reform Bill include the abolition of Section 21 evictions and a new Decent Homes Standard.
Cross-party MPs and Peers sitting on the APPG also noted that local authorities may not have the capacity to enforce upcoming reforms without a substantial boost in resources.
Of particular concern among the APPG was scrapping Section 21, as it is not clear whether responsible tenants and landlords could defend their rights in an inadequately resourced courts system.
Propertymark thinks should the Renters Reform Bill become law, that local authorities must engage with landlords and consider specific engagement with property agents, otherwise the Renters Reform Bill will not have the UK Government’s intended impact.
Tim Thomas, policy and campaigns officer at Propertymark, said: “English local authorities must hold more forums with letting agents and landlords. Should The proposals in the Renters Reform Bill will bring substantial change to the private rented sector, but the legislation will only succeed if local authorities are provided with sufficient resources to engage with letting agents and landlords.”