The private rented sector has seen increased regulation over the past two decades, as the proportion of households living in the sector now reaches 20 percent.
Standards in the PRS have improved signficantly but there remains a higher proportion of homes in a poor condition than in other tenures.
Our work in this area looks to improve standards whilst taking a proportionate approach to regulation which supports responsible landlords whilst taking appropriate action against criminal landlords flouting the law.
Topics in this section include:
In addition to our support for landlords with our policy guidance, we're campaigning on landlords' behalf to ensure their concerns are addressed throughout the coronavirus crisis.
To compliment the below information, we have produced extra information about landlord support for energy efficiency, fuel poverty, and safety standards specifcally available in Wales.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes across society. As well as Government interventions - such as emergency legislation relation to possession and financial support for individuals and companies - landlords are managing their properties during a time of high uncertainty and with fast-moving health advice.
The NRLA is working hard to ensure that our members can access the information and support they need during this time, through guidance, lobbying and raising awareness.
Guides for landlords
Last Updated: 17/05/2021
Last Updated: 17/05/2021
Last Updated: 02/07/2020
How the NRLA is supporting landlords
We are reviewing our guidance regularly and keeping the pages above updated in line with the changing situation. Please check back for the latest information. If after reading the guidance above you need advice on your specific circumstances, NRLA members can contact our Advice Line on 0300 131 6400.
The NRLA has produced a number of very useful webinars which have been viewed by thousands of landlords over the last couple of months, the recordings of these are accessible here:
- Watch again NRLA COVID-19 Series – Managing rent arrears
- Watch again: NRLA COVID-19 Series – Mortgages
- Watch again: NRLA COVID-19 Series – Electrical safety
- Watch again: NRLA COVID-19 Series – Possession
- Watch again: NRLA Covid-19 Series - Electrical safety
- View previous webinars…
Landlords supporting tenants
We’ve heard from a number of members who are making extra effort to support their tenants during this challenging time, whether that’s by proactively contacting tenants to offer flexibility with rent payments, delivering essentials to vulnerable tenants or even arranging an online cook-along for tenants and providing them with ingredients.
If you’ve got an example of support which you’d like to share, please get in touch and share your story below.
Housing minister Chris Pincher met with NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle this week to talk about funding to tackle Covid-related arrears and the long-awaited white paper on rental reform.
In this special report, senior policy officer James Wood examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on landlords, tenants and the already stretched legal system and explores potential solutions to the ongoing challenges as emergency restriction are lifted.
It has been a busy week for the NRLA and the wider sector in the run-up the eviction ban lifting on 31st May.
This blog summarises the media's response to the launch of our latest Dynata research on rent arrears, and also details our response to the end of ban earlier this week.
The HCLG select committee published its report into the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness prevention and the PRS.
This post provides a summary of the NRLA Tenant Survey conducted in November/December 2020. Rent arrears are rising with the risk of tenants losing their homes. The post includes a link to a summary briefing paper.
Everyone should be confident that they have a safe home. It's a landlord's responsibility to provide a safe home for their tenants, to ensure the property is free of serious hazards and to maintain the condition of the property throughout the tenancy.
Our policy work in this area focuses on:
- fire safety, including cladding
- electrical safety
- gas safety
- the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- carbon monoxide.
Our current projects include:
- contributing to the development of new fire safety standards following the Grenfell Tower disaster
- lobbying for updated guidance on fire safety for landlords
- involvement in the review of HHSRS
- monitoring the implementation of the new electrical installation safety standards
- participating in the working group on carbon monoxide.
Our previous major work in this area includes:
- membership of the Electrical Safety Roundtable, an industry group advising the Government on the introduction of the electrical installation regulations
- working on the development of the LACORS guidance on housing fire safety
- contibuting to the development of the smoke alarm regulations.
The NRLA recently sought clarification from the government around how new electrical safety rules for landlords should be interpreted in relation to the compliance and implementation dates.
Last Updated: 22/07/2020
Last Updated: 21/07/2020
Last Updated: 02/03/2021
Last Updated: 14/07/2021
Carbon emissions and energy efficiency are high on the politcal agenda. The UK Government has committed to reaching net-zero carbon by 2050, one of the most ambitious targets in the world. Decarbonisation of housing will play a significant part in achieving their goal, with around one-fifth of all emissions arising from the sector.
As well as requiring a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to rent out homes, landlords in England and Wales must comply with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in order to let a property. This currently requires a minimum E rating, unless the landlord has registered a valid exemption. This minimum is going to rise over the coming years as the Government moves closer to its target date.
We are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the future requiremens for energy efficiency in the private rented sector.
We are calling for the Government to:
- commit to a trajectory for measures in the private rented sector, rather than individual incremental steps, providing landlords with a clear ultimate target to reach which will allow for business planning for improvements
- recognition from the Government of the high level of investment required from individual landlords and measures to support this, such as making energy improvements tax deductible and offering finance options
- introduce building passports, so that it's clear for property owners what measures have already been taken and what further can be done to improve their rating
- support local authorities to develop a repository of best practice, indicating the process for upgrading local archetypes of houses.
In the fourth post in our blog series on future changes to minimum energy efficiency standards, we make the case for the UK Government to reintroduce a tax allowance for landlords who are undertaking energy efficiency works.
Retrofit is arguably the greener option for reaching net zero. Why then is the practice of "demolish and rebuild" encouraged by the tax system?Â The answer, or at least one of them, appears to be VAT. We make the case for zero rating VAT on energy efficiency measures.
The Government's response to their consultation on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards is expected later this year. In the first of a series of blogs, we explore the impact of the proposed new cost cap of Â£10,000, and how the NRLA is arguing for a flexible approach across the country.
Whilst the long-term target of government is to enable more than 600,000 homes in England to become more energy efficient, the GHG voucher scheme made only a modest contribution to meeting that target. However the scheme's failings and resultant low take-up does not negate the need for a scheme. The conclusion from the evidence presented here is that for those landlords who wished to address EPC levels, the GHG voucher provided invaluable support.
Last Updated: 04/08/2021
Last Updated: 12/03/2021
Everyone deserves a right to live in a decent home and in most cases tenants do. However, there are a small number of criminal landlords who provide substandard, unsafe homes. These criminals are often the cause of people saying that the sector is unregulated but this could not be further from the truth. There are over 150 acts of parliament that create over 400 legal obligations on a landlord. The vast majority of landlords are committed to providing good quality and follow all of these obligations.
Our regulation work covers both national and local regulations. Find out more about our work with local Government.
- There should be a more strategic approach to regulation from Government, with a cohesive approach to the private rented sector across different policy areas.
- We are working with others in the sector no the concept of a property 'MOT' - a regular confirmation of the condition of the property alongside documentation of statutory requirements such as Gas Safe certificate, electrical installation checks and an Energy Performance Certificate. This could provide an alternative to discretionary licensing schemes.
Last Updated: 11/12/2020