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Read more articles in: Elizabeth Jennings, Property

Decent Homes Standard: Landlords calling for simplicity as new consultation begins

Homes rented in the private sector could soon be required to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Rolled out for social housing in 2001, the Decent Homes Standard sets out several proposed requirements for houses in the private rental sector, including:

  1. They meet the current statutory minimum standard for housing
  2. They are in a reasonable state of repair
  3. Have reasonable facilities and services, and
  4. Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort

In the current system, ensuring privately rented homes meet standards is predominantly down to local councils.

It is up to the local council to identify hazards in privately rented properties and then take enforcement action against the landlord.

The Government has said that under the current system, there is not enough responsibility taken on the part of the landlords to ensure their houses are in a liveable condition.

By introducing a legal duty for landlords to meet these standards, the Government hopes this will tackle the issue.

Landlords in breach of the Decent Homes Standard will be committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted or fined under the latest proposals.

How will the Government enforce the standards?

It is understood that under the proposed changes, all landlords will be required to register their homes and declare that they are in line with the standards. They will do this through a new digital Property Portal.

There will also be more responsibility given to local councils, who will have a duty to investigate complaints associated with the Decent Homes Standard in their jurisdiction.

There has been some backlash against the Government’s proposal, with many landlords calling for simplification of the existing 170 laws in place in the private renting sector.

Landlords have also stated that there should be clear distinctions in the proposals in light of the crucial differences between private and social rented housing.

If you need advice on this issue or any legal issues relating to properties, contact us today.

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