Landlords are well aware of the blizzard of new regulations impacting on the private rented sector (PRS), but the National Landlords’ Association argues, it’s the lack of effective enforcement in many localities that is affecting the general standards existing in the PRS.
In a London Assembly Housing Committee session, Assembly Members (AM) were given evidence from panellists, including the NLA, regarding the standard of privately rented homes in London and the role of local authorities.
Assembly members present explored the case for extending the mandatory requirement for the Decent Homes standard to the private rented sector. This argument was based on the 25 percent of the PRS which was deemed to be non-decent in the 2018 English Housing Survey, says the NLA.
In the evidence session, the NLA argued that extending the Decent Homes requirement would not increase standards because local authorities already had the necessary powers under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
The issue was not the absence of regulation, the NLA argued, but the lack of ability to enforce existing standards. The NLA acknowledged that under staffing was an issue and more needed to be done to support local authorities in retaining qualified personnel.
Estimates suggest, according to the NLA, that the private rented sector (PRS) provides 935,000 homes in London compared to 800,000 socially rented homes. The Decent Homes standard was introduced in 2000 to reduce the number of non-decent social rented homes.
These standards require that properties must be:
- Free of Category 1 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- In a reasonable state of repair
- Reasonably equipped with modern facilities and services
- Able to provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
To hear more from the London Assembly Housing Committee evidence session, click here to be redirected to a recorded webcast.