National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
NRLA responds to launch of Decent Homes Standard consultation
Following the Government’s announcement of its Decent Homes Standard (DHS) consultation, the NRLA has commented on what it believes a future DHS should entail.
Over the next six weeks, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), wants to hear the views of landlords, councils, and housing groups on the scope of a future DHS.
This of course isn’t new. The Government announced its intention to expand the scope of the DHS to private households in its levelling up white paper published earlier this year, but this latest announcement seems decidedly less hostile to private landlords, and more accepting of the NRLA’s view that one size does not fit all housing.
Positively, DLUHC recognises that “the majority of landlords in the private rented sector already meet high standards, but a minority are failing to meet these”. With this in mind they wish to examine whether privately rented homes “should be required to be kept in a good state of repair”, specifically with respect to ensuring properties are kept free of fire hazards and that they possess efficient heating.
The launch of the Government’s consultation comes after the NRLA issued its proposals earlier this year, which argue that any future standard must ensure existing regulations are properly enforced by local authorities. Likewise, we called for councils to be properly resourced so they can address the criminal and rogue landlords who blight the private rented sector.
Crucially, we also recommended that arbitrary rules concerning kitchens and bathrooms be disapplied when assessing private homes, and that the diversity of PRS stock be recognised by any new standard. It is welcome that these calls have found a place in the Government’s consultation.
Responding to the launch of today’s consultation, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:
“Standards in the private rented sector generally good and continue to improve. That is why private renters are more likely to be satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector.
“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.”
If you’d like to read the NRLA’s proposals for a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector, click here to access our paper.
Likewise you can find the Government’s consultation page, which can be found on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ website, here. The consultation will conclude on 14 October 2022.
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