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Decent Homes Standard in the PRS needs to be fully resourced Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Propertymark has responded to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consultation on the Decent Homes Standard in England by offering clarity on how to deliver greater parity between the social and private rented sectors.

The organisation says that its response will help ensure landlords who do not treat their tenants fairly are held accountable.

The responsibility of enforcing these rules will often lie with the local authority but many, as Propertymark highlights, struggle to enforce the current standards within the private rented sector.

Any additional responsibilities for local authorities will be difficult to manage without additional resources.

Recommendations before implementing the Decent Homes Standard

In addition to offering more resources to local authorities, Propertymark has urged that DLUHC consider the following recommendations before implementing the Decent Homes Standard:

Focus on prevention rather than prosecution – to ensure that the standard of homes improves, resources should be focused on providing information to landlords and support to enable them to meet the standard, rather than using fines as a first response to any breaches

Develop national guidelines for local authorities – our members have expressed concerns over the potential for inconsistent enforcement and standards across England. National guidelines would increase the consistency of the Decent Homes Standard

There should be some accountability for tenants – if the breach in standards is due to a lack of care or neglect by the tenant, the landlord should not be liable for the violation. This is especially important when dealing with the issue of mould.

‘Support greater standards for homes within the private rented sector’

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “It’s hard to find a reason not to support greater standards for homes within the private rented sector.

“Tenants should expect a certain standard when renting from any agent.

“The Decent Homes Standard creates a level playing field that our members will appreciate as they already go above and beyond what is expected of them.”

He added: “That being said, the DLUHC needs to understand the immense strain local authorities are facing when delivering their current duties regarding existing standards.

“Sufficient resources and commitment will be required to ensure consistent and regular enforcement of the Decent Homes Standard.”

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