WITH rents at an all-time high, interest rates at a historic low, buy-to-let experiencing a new boom and tenant demand higher than ever, local landlords and the National Landlord Association have picked an interesting time to complain about their lot (Letters, January 28).

They’ve never had it so good! The proposed Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence expansion to include smaller properties would cost a landlord £450 over five years. If £90 a year is going to break the bank, it is probably time to get out of the landlord lark. As for “onerous” regulation, it’s such a shame that ensuring a three-bedroom house has adequate fire safety precautions is something landlords seek to shy away from.

As a tenant for many years, I have dealt with landlords and lettings agents. Some are good, some are bad. To focus on rogue landlords is right, but not the only problem. In my experience, amateurish landlords who don’t know the basic laws are numerous. Lettings agents, too, seem to be unregulated and expensive.

To put the landlord HMO charge into perspective, I was charged a letting agent admin fee for two tenants signing a 12-month AST last year of £385. Eye-watering charges in the hundreds of pounds to renew tenancies, cover referencing and the like are commonplace from lettings agents.

The council must go further. Clamp down on rogue landlords, using the powers they already have, and go for compulsory registration of all landlords at a price that also raises money for council coffers. Some people are getting fat from the housing shortage in this city and ever-rising rents. It’s time to cream off some of those profits for the public purse.

Dan Wilson, Brunswick Mews, Hove