Private Rented Sector Review:

The RLA is welcoming the new ‘Rugg Review’ into the state of the PRS announced yesterday by the Nationwide Foundation, a charity that says it aims to improve the lives of people in need.

The last Rugg Review was published in 2008 but since then the private rented sector has almost doubled in size, with more and more people living in rented homes.

The Nationwide Foundation is funding the University of York’s Julie Rugg and David Rhodes, authors of the original ‘Rugg Review’ entitled ‘The Private Rented Sector: Its Contribution and Potential’.

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The new review aims to conduct an up-to-date review of the sector in England.

The review is it is said is designed to be an independent and objective analysis, to establish broadly whether it responds adequately to the needs of its various tenants, and will particularly focus on:

  • a comprehensive analysis of the ‘state of play’
  • an assessment of the policy interventions currently impacting on the sector
  • proposing policy options which could contribute to more effective operation

The Residential Landlords Association has said the researchers have already visited their offices for input, with further meetings planned. The association says it has a number of key proposals to feed into the review, including suggestions from its ‘alternative white paper’ which is currently under development.

Other interested stakeholders and industry experts will be invited to submit evidence to the review in due course. The completed work is expected to be published in summer 2018.

In addition to the review, the Nationwide Foundation has also funded another separate piece of research to be carried out by the same academic team.

This will assess the extent that the private rented sector meets the housing needs of vulnerable tenants and will be published alongside the main review.

Dr Julie Rugg, Principal Investigator at the Centre for Housing Policy, University of York said:

“The last review showed that the private rented sector is made up of lots of different sub-markets, meeting different types of need.

“Since we completed the review, every one of those sub-markets has changed substantially. Without a better understanding of how the rented sector works, it’s unlikely that policy aimed at the sector will have the desired effect.”

RLA Chairman Alan Ward said:

“Any independent report which helps us better understand the sector is most welcome.

“The 2008 review was a well-respected piece of work, but much has changed since then and the RLA looks forward to working further with the authors to share members’ experiences and explore the best way forward to make renting better for landlords and tenants alike.”

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