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NRLA gives muted response to proposed Decent Homes Standard

Proposals for a new Decent Homes Standard for private rented homes have been broadly welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association.

But, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle, 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’.

The Government’s latest consultative paper ‘seems decidedly less hostile to private landlords’, said the NRLA.

Launch of Government’s consultation on a new Decent Homes Standard follows NRLA proposals earlier this year, it said. These argued 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’.

And, ‘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.

‘Standards in the private rented sector are generally good and continue to improve’, said Beadle. ‘That is why private renters are more likely to be satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector’.