Seventeen leading property organisations have today launched a new Code to drive up standards and quality in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in response to too many privately rented homes in the UK failing to meet the ‘English Housing Survey’ standards.
The new Code, which was developed at the request of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) in 2013 and facilitated by RICS, outlines mandatory and recommended best practices for landlords and lettings agents in order to improve the stock of privately rented homes in the UK.
Welcoming today’s publication, Minister for Housing, Brandon Lewis, said:
“The private rented sector plays a vital role in our housing market, providing a flexible option for millions of people across the country. The last thing we want to do is strangle it in red tape – but tenants and landlords should have confidence that they will be treated fairly.
“Today’s package of measures is designed to do just that, putting power in the hands of people to get the deal they serve, without punishing the vast majority of good landlords while still encouraging more investment in the sector.
“I would like to thank the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for facilitating the industry Code of Practice. I would urge all landlords to take account of the new Code, and look to offer our Model Tenancy Agreement.”
Covering areas ranging from how to truthfully market property, terminate tenancies, and repair and maintain buildings, the new Code details legal requirements and best practice procedures that landlords and letting agents must and should abide by.
Coming immediately into effect, the next challenge for industry and enforcement agencies is to use the Code to tackle the persistent minority of bad landlords and lettings agents who fail their customers, put lives at risk and damage the reputation of the responsible majority.
To download the PRS Code, visit: www.rics.org/prscode
In October 2013 the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) PRS Taskforce requested that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) work with leading sector organisations to develop a Code of Practice to create greater choice, professional services and higher quality properties for tenants in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).
The group of 17 leading property organisations involved in developing the new PRS Code consists of: the Association of Approved Lettings Agents (ARLA), the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), the British Property Federation (BPF), the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM), mydesposits.co.uk, The National Approved Letting Scheme, the National Landlords Association, the National Association of Estates Agents (NAEA), Ombudsman Services: Property, the Property Redress Scheme (PRS), the Residential Landlord Association, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), the Property Ombudsman and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA).
Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of NALS, commented:
“The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) welcomes the new PRS code for agents and landlords outlining both best practice as well as legal requirements and responsibilities. It will act as an additional signpost to more detailed codes already established in the sector and to the need to ensure that agents are part of agent organisations such as NALS.”