A new body called the Lodger Landlords Association (LLA) has been launched to drive forward greater protection and regulation for individuals in the room rental lodgers market.
Established by entrepreneurs Jerome Mcbean and Shaun Barrett, the LLA will cater to people who rent out a room in their home as well as lodgers who rent these rooms, with a goal to raise protection to levels that exist in other areas of the private rented sector (PRS).
Lobbying for a new legal framework
The LLA will be lobbying for the existence of a legal framework and wants to provide non-professional live-in landlords with guidance and education to ensure they meet their legal and safety requirements. Non-compliance will also be monitored and discouraged.
As well as working towards a safer sector for everyone, the LLA have also developed insurance solutions specifically for landlords, designed to protect contents and prevent voiding existing cover when taking on a lodger. Other products include a lodger deposit guard and viewings assistance.
The LLA want lodgers to be given the protection of a clear written licence agreement and an unambiguous inventory of the accommodation. They also want deposits to benefit from full regulatory protection within an approved scheme such as what already exists in the wider rental market.
Richard Blanco, London representative of the National Landlords Association (NLA), commented: “Many live-in landlords would benefit from education and guidance on best practice; the skills that the 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.”
An LLA spokesperson, Patrick, commented: “With accommodation prices soaring in the UK, especially in London, fewer professionals are able to afford the cost of housing in the capital and other major cities.”
Patrick added: “Though the new tenant fees ban that came into force on 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 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.”
Addressing market concerns
There are currently serious concerns for deposit protection and exploitation of lodgers by landlords, which needs to be addressed, according to the founders of the LLA, Jerome Mcbean and Shaun Barrett. They believe their association is the first step to addressing very real issues for both lodgers and landlords.
The body will also campaign for room rental and flatshare platforms to be subject to some form of recognised regulation, as these are not currently covered by the same rules as agents are.
Given the central role in arranging lettings and lodgings, the LLA believe these platforms need to take more responsibility in terms of vetting to prevent vulnerable parties from being exploited.