Consultation launched on new standards for rented homes

Millions of renters could benefit from a set of improved standards for rented homes, under government plans opened to consultation.

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has launched a consultation on introducing a Decent Homes Standard to the rented sector, which would mean landlords are legally bound to make sure their property meets a reasonable standard.

DLUHC said that while a majority of landlords in the private rented sector already meet high standards, a minority are failing to meet them.

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 consultation seeks views on whether such new standards should be introduced and on how they should be enforced.

Over a fifth of the 4.4 million privately rented homes in England are in poor condition. The government has set itself a target to halve the number of poor-quality rented homes by 2030.

Housing secretary Greg Clark 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.’

Alicia Kennedy, director of campaign group 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. 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.’

Gavin Smart, chief executive of 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.

‘We look forward to seeing the details set out in the consultation and discussing the proposals with our members.’

The social housing sector has been subject to a decent homes standard since 2001. 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 landmark private rented sector white paper.

The consultation will run for six weeks and seeks views from tenants, landlords, and others in the sector.

Photo by Sephelonor


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