Career Rent Criminals Central Housing Group

Agent Alert: government survey on documents handed to tenants

A new government survey of private renters is checking whether they received the correct documentation from their agent when they begin a tenancy.

The 20 question survey was launched earlier this month and continues until November 17. 

It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and asks tenants whether they found their property via a lettings agent, and then more detailed questions quiz renters on what documentation they were given.
Perhaps most tellingly, it includes questions as to what additional information private renters may find useful in future – information not currently required to be passed on by agents to tenants.

This includes the name and contact details of landlords, information about a landlord’s convictions for housing offences, additional safety information about the property, and details of the property’s energy efficiency. 

A covering note issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says: “The survey is aimed at those with experience renting privately in England, or those who are considering renting privately in the near future.”

And elsewhere in the covering note, the Department reveals that the survey is part of the background work for the White Paper and possible Renters Reform Bill, scheduled for release over the winter.

The covering note says: “In the Queen’s Speech, the Government committed to bringing forward reforms to drive improvements in standards in privately rented accommodation and supporting local authorities to conduct well targeted, effective enforcement that drives out criminal landlords. 

“As part of the Government’s commitment to explore the merits of a national landlord register, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are engaging with a range of stakeholders across the private rented sector.

“This survey will inform this work and help us to further understand the difficulties individuals face when renting, letting or enforcing property standards in the Private Rented Sector.”

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