Standards & Quality

Summary

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:

Coronavirus campaign

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.

Coronavirus

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.

Find out more about our campaigning on this issue here.

Guides for landlords

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:

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.

Latest news

Tenant survey dispels fears of eviction surge

OVER 95% of private tenants are paying their rent or have made an arrangement with their landlord to pay less rent or defer payment during the pandemic according to a new survey of tenants out today.

Industry News Sally Walmsley 12/08/2020
Tenant survey dispels fears of eviction surge

FIVE steps to managing rent arrears

We take a look at five steps to managing rent arrears.

Helpful Tips Victoria Barker 09/08/2020
FIVE steps to managing rent arrears

Common Covid-19 financial scams to be aware of

The ten most common scams relating to coronavirus have been revealed by trade body UK Finance this week, including one scam involving fake council tax reduction emails. We take a look at how to identify if something is actually a scam, and what to do about it.

Helpful Tips Victoria Barker 30/07/2020
Common Covid-19 financial scams to be aware of

Housing Minster quotes NRLA in Commons repossessions debate

The NRLA was referenced several times by the Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP in the Commons today when discussing the end to the ban on repossessions next month.

Industry News Victoria Barker 22/07/2020
Housing Minster quotes NRLA in Commons repossessions debate

NRLA wins as Covid campaign continues

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of the year the NRLA has been lobbying ministers for support for landlords, in both running their businesses and helping their tenants.

Industry News Sally Walmsley 09/07/2020
NRLA wins as Covid campaign continues

Safety

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 work

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.

Latest news

Clarity on new electrical safety 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. .

Industry News Victoria Barker 24/06/2020
Clarity on new electrical safety regulations

Related documents

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Last Updated: 22/07/2020

Detail here

Energy efficiency

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. 

Our work

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.

Latest news

Related documents

Energy Efficiency

Last Updated: 24/07/2020

Minimum Energy Efficiency (MEES)

Last Updated: 22/07/2020

Regulation

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.

Our policy

  • 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.

Related documents