The Decent Homes Standard Central Housing Group

The Decent Homes Standard – Councils Need Massive Resources

Propertymark backs government plans to introduce a social housing-style to the Decent Homes Standard in the private sector.

But it says there must be a huge boost in government funding to allow councils to enforce the standard adequately.

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark policy director, says: “It’s hard to find a reason not to support greater standards for homes within the private rented sector.

“Tenants should expect a certain standard when renting from any agent.

“The Decent Homes Standard creates a level playing field that our members will appreciate as they already go above and beyond what is expected of them.

“That being said, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities needs to understand the immense strain local authorities are facing when delivering their current duties regarding existing standards.

“Sufficient resources and commitment will be required to ensure consistent and regular enforcement of the Decent Homes Standard.”

Propertymark has urged that DLUHC consider the following recommendations:

– Focus on prevention rather than prosecution – in order to ensure that the standard of homes improves, resources should be focused on providing information to landlords and support to enable them to meet the standard, rather than using fines as a first response to any breaches;

– Develop national guidelines for local authorities – Propertymark members have expressed concerns over the potential for inconsistent enforcement and standards across England. National guidelines would increase the consistency of the Decent Homes Standard;

– There should be some accountability for tenants – if the breach in standards is due to a lack of care or neglect by the tenant, the landlord should not be liable for the violation. This is especially important when dealing with the issue of mould.

Propertymark has made the recommendations in response to an official DLUHC consultation.

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