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Landlords back minimum housing standards, new survey shows

Six in 10 landlords support minimum property standards for the private rented sector, Paragon Bank research has found.

The government has pledged to introduce a Decent Homes Standard for privately rented property as part of its Renters Reform Bill. It has consulted on measures that could be introduced and the sector awaits the next steps.

The Paragon survey of over 500 landlords revealed 34 per cent strongly support the measure, with 28 per cent expressing general support. A further eight per cent weren’t aware of plans to introduce minimum standards to the sector.

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Additionally, landlords expressed frustration at a lack of action to drive out rogue elements of the sector. Nearly three quarters said they felt frustrated that local councils don’t act against landlords who let sub-standard homes.

The private rented sector has experienced a significant improvement in the standard of homes over the past 15 years.

In 2008, 44 per cent of homes in the sector were defined as non-decent according to the Government’s English Housing Survey. Today, that figure stands at 23 per cent.

The addition of good quality homes has diluted the presence of poorer stock; In 2008, 1.8m privately rented homes were classed as decent, rising to 3.3m in 2021 – an 83 per cent increase.

There has also been a reduction in the number of properties classed as non-decent – falling from 1.4m to 990,000, a 29 per cent reduction.

A Decent Homes Standard was introduced for the social housing sector in 2001, with the proportion of homes that do not meet the Standard reducing from 39 per cent in 2001 to 13 per cent in 2020.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages, says: “The vast majority of landlords have nothing to fear from a Decent Homes Standard as they are providing a good quality home to their tenants already. It’s the minority of landlords who don’t meet these standards that are tarnishing the wider reputation of the sector.

“At Paragon, we employ our own in-house team of surveyors, who assess a rental property to a stringent standard, so we act as a natural barrier to poor quality homes entering the sector. Landlords have made great strides in improving the standards of rental property over the past 15 years and they should be celebrated.”

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    Decent homes standards are all well and good if tenants understand how to live decently and maintain the standard of the home.
    How many of us have experienced mould this winter after decades of not having mould purely because tenants don't understand the importance of the combination of heating AND ventilation?
    How many tenants don't mention when repairs or maintenance is required? Things like blocked gutters won't be evident on routine inspections if it doesn't happen to be raining.
    How many international tenants don't understand how standard UK plumbing works?

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    Aren't there laws already about housing standards?

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    They must be waiting for us PLL to do things to the property energy efficient and then increase the rent . As I keep hearing folk do t mi d paying higher if it’s fir environment friendly.

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