11:06 AM, 2nd September 2022, About A year ago 23
The government has unveiled a consultation for a new Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector – and it could be the biggest shake-up for landlords in 30 years.
This is the first time that a standard has been put forward for the sector and the government wants to hear the views from landlords, tenants, housing groups and councils.
The proposal is part of the government’s new deal for renters to make homes safe and secure.
And, they point out, that millions of renters could benefit from a set of improved standards for rented homes – though they also highlight that the majority of landlords in the PRS already meet high standards but a minority are failing to meet these.
The consultation asks whether privately rented homes should be required to be kept in a good state of repair with efficient heating, suitable facilities and free from serious hazards like major damp or fire risks.
The government is now seeking views on whether such new standards should be introduced and how they should be enforced.
It claims that ‘more than a fifth of the 4.4 million privately rented homes in England are in poor condition’.
And today’s move shows, the government says, that it is getting on with delivering its levelling up mission, to halve the number of poor-quality rented homes by 2030.
Greg Clark, the 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 a decent standard.
“This consultation asks what the minimum standard for privately rented homes should be.”
The social housing sector has been subject to a decent homes standard since 2001 and over the last decade, poor quality social housing has reduced by over a third.
The introduction of a Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector was outlined in the government’s fairer private rented sector white paper.
Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, said: “We welcome these plans to extend the Decent Homes Standard to private rented homes.
“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.”
She added: “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 for six weeks and seeks views from tenants, landlords, and others in the sector.
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