Manx landlords want a fair deal

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Manx landlords are seeking a meeting with the chief minister to air their concerns about proposed new legislation controlling the private letting of houses and flats.

Among the proposals are a register of all private landlords who rent out accommodation, as well as a list of rights and obligations imposed on both parties to the agreement.

But at the landlords’ latest meeting, held this week at the South Douglas Old Friends’ Club, members decided further negotiations were needed on the proposals.

Group spokesman Stephen Moore said the consensus was the proposals were too one-sided.

‘We still consider that there’s not sufficient balance and consequently we are seeking an early meeting with the Chief Minister to present our concerns and find a way forward,’ he said.

‘We are not trying to kick this into the long grass but we do consider at the moment we have done as much as we can. The Department of Social Care, by its nature, wants to look after the people and the Manx Landlords’ Association are investors who work in a regulated industry and want it to be fair, and we don’t consider at the moment we have got a fair balance.’

Mr Moore said while there was a great deal of responsibility placed on landlords, he did not feel there were reciprocal obligations placed on tenants.

He said draconian punishments for failing to comply – fines of up to £20,000, six months in prison and rent refunds, despite tenants having had a roof over their heads – were disproportionate. In contrast, he said there was still no easy way to evict a destructive or non-paying tenant, and little in the way of obligations placed on tenants.

In the near future, the association is to have a presentation from the Department of Health and Social Care when members can ask questions about the proposals.

They are also hoping to refer the draft legislation for consideration by a legislative committee before anything is finalised.

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