New standards will hold private landlords to account and ensure decent, well-maintained privately rented homes
A consultation on a new set of standards for private landlords has been launched by the government’s Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities.
This would be the first set of standards introduced for the private rental sector (PRS) and would make landlords legally bound to maintain a reasonable quality of property environment.
Across England there are 4.4m privately rented homes and over a fifth are in poor condition. The proposal was outlined in the ‘A fairer private rented sector’ white paper and are part of the government’s levelling up agenda, which also aims to halve the number of poor quality homes in the PRS by 2030.
The levelling up agenda and its commitment to raise housing standards in the PRS has been welcomed by the CIEH.
The government has argued that new standards will also be fairer to good landlords by ensuring landlords that don’t treat their tenants fairly can no longer continue to operate in that way and risk tarnishing the sector’s reputation.
Greg Clark, Housing Secretary said: “I want to see a thriving private rented sector, but that does not mean that tenants should have to suffer homes that are not of decent standard.
This consultation asks what the minimum standard for privately rented homes should be.”
Gavin Smart, Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing said: “All renters should be able to live in decent, well maintained homes. We welcome the commitment to introduce a new Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector as part of the government’s new deal for renters.”
Smart added that the social housing sector has had a decent homes standard for over 20 years and over the past decade poor quality social housing had reduced by more than a third.
“This crucial [set of standards] will help tenants get value for money, whoever they rent from, and stop landlords from profiting by cutting corners.”
Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent said: “As the private rented sector has grown to overtake the social sector in size, not enough action has been taken on the poorer conditions private tenants must put up with.
“Private rented homes are more costly to heat and at a higher risk of disrepair and damp problems. There is no reason why private tenants should expect a worse service than social tenants.
“This crucial measure will help tenants get value for money, whoever they rent from, and stop landlords from profiting by cutting corners.”
The consultation will run until October 14th 2022, and views are sought from tenants, landlords and others in the sector.
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