Industry News Sally Walmsley 24/05/2022

NRLA addresses ministers on Decent Homes plans

NRLA proposals for a new Decent Homes Standard were the focus of a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the PRS today.

During the meeting in Westminster this morning, policy director Chris Norris outlined the association’s plans, which include proposals for ‘property passports’, which could be used to prove to tenants that homes meet legal standards, without the need for more legislation.

The passport, which could be accessed online, would include details of all improvements made to properties, along with copies of the safety certificates. Landlords would be responsible for declaring themselves compliant with local authorities given the powers to conduct spot checks.

The NRLA, which provides the secretariat for the APPG – supporting the group to organise meetings covering the issues MPs and Peers want to prioritise – was speaking at the meeting alongside a representative from homelessness charity Shelter.

The Government has made a commitment to extend the Decent Homes Standard from the social sector to the PRS as part of its wider Renters’ Reform plans. Given this, the Group wanted to find out whether the existing standard needs to be updated and what a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector should look like.

Chris Norris said: “It was a very productive meeting where we explained the need for reasoned, sensible approach to assessing whether PRS homes are decent.

“There are already almost 170 rules and regulations on standards in the PRS, covering everything from fire safety and energy efficiency to repairs and maintenance. There is simply no need for more.

“Compliant landlords will already have the information needed under the property passport plans. Our plans simply mean that these details will be held together in a single place, where they can be quickly and easily accessed by tenants to assure them the property they want to rent is safe.”

The association believes  that any standard should be tailored to the PRS and introduced without the need for new legal requirements. It argues the passport system with be both simple to implement, and for landlords and tenants to understand.

The APPG will now develop proposals on a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector to send into Government, ahead of a Renters’ Reform Bill being published. A white paper on Renters’ Reform is expected in the coming months.

More information

  • To read more about the NRLA’s Decent Homes proposals click here.
  • To find out more about the NRLA’s Proposals on Renters’ Reform click here.
Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley Magazine and Digital Editor

Sally is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

See all articles by Sally Walmsley