Unlawful landlords give the decent majority a bad name
Speaking at a conference held by the National Approved Letting Scheme, Alan Ward from the Residential Landlords Association said he does not think the term 'rogue' should be used by the media, as it suggests mischief rather than something that could potentially be dangerous and is often illegal.
Instead, he recommended use of the word 'criminal' to avoid giving the rest of the industry a bad name and said he thinks many more prosecutions should be brought against them than is the case at present.
Mr Ward also spoke out about a number of other issues affecting buy to let property owners, including selective licensing schemes, control of the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation, over-cautious lending and "over-priced mortgages".
He explained that the latter is a particular problem as the recession continues, as prices that are "four or five times what they were a few years ago" are proving to be a barrier against investment.
Despite these comments, it is still worthwhile for would-be investors to take a look around and see what they can afford, as Landlord Centre recently said buy to let finance is still available at competitive rates.
Figures seen by the Financial Times earlier this year showed that the average fixed rate for a rental property fell to 4.82 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, down from 4.93 per cent during the final three months of 2011.
Andy Young from Landlord Centre said it "reflects the resilience of the buy to let mortgage market".
Meanwhile, local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive are continuing to keep checking for landlords who flout the rules on lettings, particularly where it involves tenants' lives being put in danger. Although they may agree with Mr Ward's proposed abandonment of the word 'rogue', they may therefore not support his views on insufficient prosecution.