Currently the Isle of Man does not have any formal regulation of the private rented sector other than enforcement of habitation standards which are overseen by the Environmental Health Team of the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture on behalf of the Island’s Local Authorities.
The Department has however operated a voluntary scheme for the registration of landlords renting properties in the private sector since 2014.
The Department continues to work with Her Majesty’s’ Attorney General’s Chambers to bring forward a new Bill, the Landlord Registration Bill (2020) and will use information from both the public consultation and other interested party sources to finalise the Bill for consideration by Tynwald.
Landlord Registration Bill
The public consultation on the draft Landlord Registration (Private Housing) Bill 2020 ran for six weeks from 15 June 2020 to 27 July 2020.
The Department of Infrastructure sought views on the provisions of the draft Bill and Minimum Standards Regulations, summarised below.
- Creation, through self-declaration, of a register of landlords that rent out privately owned property
- A mechanism for reporting and inspection of landlords and properties that do not meet defined minimum standards and
- To enable the enforcement of landlords who do not register, or who do not meet either personal or property minimum standards
For more information about the consultation, visit the consultation hub.
The Department held a series of public engagement sessions in September and October 2020 intended to provide information about how we intend to carry out the actions of the Bill, if it receives Tynwald approval. The public events, held in Braddan, Ramsey and Port St Mary, were hosted by the Department of Infrastructure and attended by representatives for the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture and charity Housing Matters.
Key messages from our public engagement sessions:
- Timescales: The earliest Landlord Registration will become mandatory is July 2022 (subject to all relevant approvals)
- The Department intends to launch the voluntary scheme in 2021, this will be free to register
- The enforcement action listed within the Bill is there for cases where no other resolution can be found, when we have exhausted all other options to rectify issues
- The fees for registration are still subject to review and approval, though the Department intends to propose £50 per landlord registered and £10 for each of their properties. The payment will be once every five years.
It was a pleasure to receive so many visitors to the drop-in sessions, over 190 people, the majority of whom were private sector landlords. The feedback gathered from the sessions, will be used to help finalise the Bill and establish how the proposed register will work, if approved by Tynwald.
The presentation slides used at the drop-in sessions can be viewed online.
Voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme (VLRS)
The main purpose of the voluntary scheme was:
- To introduce, through self-declaration, registration of landlords and their property portfolio;
- To identify properties in the private rental sector which meet minimum standards for decency of accommodation in terms of state of repair and maintenance; and
- To encourage and recognise landlords who are operating in a lawful and appropriate manner.
The Department will shortly be introducing an updated voluntary scheme and is therefore no longer accepting applications onto the voluntary register.