Proposed new legislation to regulate private landlords is not being given sufficient consultation time a spokesman for the newly formed Manx Landlords’ Association has said.
Stephen Moore, a committee member for the group which had its inaugural meeting last week, said around 60 of the island’s landlords had attended but despite this there had been inadequate publicity and they were still meeting other landlorsds who had no idea of the new proposals.
‘Something which seems to have been forgotten is that landlords are invistors and there is a big industry involved in it. There are many people whose employment is supported by this, including letting agents and estate agents as well as trades people like electricians, plumbers, joiners.
‘We have not been accepted as an industry making a significant and worthwhile contribution to the exchequer,’ he said.
The proposed new legislation lays down certain minimum standards for rented housing regarding issues such as insulation, double glazing, central heating, window locks.
But Mr Moore said only a small percentage of the private rented sector did not comply with most requirements and the legislation was based on Scottish law which had failed to achieve its objectives.
One problem, he said, was that some properties would be difficult to make compliant, such as those within conservation areas which were not allowed double-glazed windows and older properties which were more difficult to insulate.
In addition he said the proposed new law included draconian penalties for non-compliance with a possible six-month prison sentence or a maximum £20,000 fine.
He said there was also a register of private landlords proposed and they were to complete a questionnaire.
‘The first question on the proposed register asks about convictions for sexual, drugs or fraud offences,’ he said.
‘It’s really not a way of attracting investors to the island.’
He also said the new proposals were very heavily weighted in favour of the tenants without offering anything to the landlords.
‘We are comcerned that there is no balance. Someone seems to have looked at what the landlord should do bot not what the tenants’ responsibilities are in return,’ he said.
In particular he cited the hurdles faced by a landlord wanting to evict a non-paying tenant. The next meeting is at the South Douglas Old Friends Club at 7.30pm on May 14.