11:06 AM, 2nd September 2022, About 3 months ago 5
The National Residential Landlords’ Association (NRLA) says that the government should not be considering a move to extend the Decent Homes Standard from social housing to the private sector.
Instead, it should be focused on simplifying existing laws that target criminal landlords.
When the plans for a Decent Homes Standard for the private sector were first mooted in February, the NRLA said this was ‘not the right vehicle’ for achieving such an important goal.
They added that criminal landlords would continue undermining the reputation of the vast majority of decent landlords who are ‘doing the right thing’.
The NRLA’s reaction comes after the government revealed it was launching a consultation for landlords, councils, tenants and housing groups that would see the standard covering private rentals.
The proposed move has been welcomed by Generation Rent who say that not enough action has been taken on the ‘poorer conditions private tenants must put up with’.
The organisation’s director, Alicia Kennedy, said: “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.”
However, the NRLA points to the regular surveys of tenant sentiments which find that most renters are happy in their home.
They are also urging that the 170 laws that cover the sector currently should be simplified.
The NRLA is also calling for councils to be resourced properly to deal with criminal landlords in the sector.
Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the NRLA, said: “Standards in the private rented sector are improving.
“That is why private renters are more likely to be satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector.”
He added: “The Government’s plans should focus on making it easier for private landlords, tenants and councils to understand what is expected of them by simplifying the almost 170 laws already affecting the sector.
“The plans need to also recognise crucial differences between private and social rented housing, including in the age and types of properties in each.
“In the end, all the laws in the world will do nothing without improved enforcement against the minority of landlords who tarnish the reputation of the responsible, law-abiding majority.
“That requires properly resourced councils tackling the criminals and rogues, whilst allowing the responsible majority to easily prove their home is safe and compliant.”