Section: Private Sector Housing

Up to a third of millennials face renting from cradle to grave

Posted 17.04.18
Resolution Foundation: Article link

Policy makers need to radically reform the private rental sector to make it fit for raising children and retirement because a generation of young people face the prospect of never owning their own home, according to a new report published by the Resolution Foundation.

Home Improvements sets out a blueprint for tackling Britain's housing crisis, including tax reforms to discourage multiple home ownership and better support home ownership among the young, along with support for councils to get more affordable homes built.

The Foundation warns that policy makers cannot afford to neglect a crucial part of Britain's 'here and now' housing crisis - poor quality and insecurity in the private rented sector (PRS).

Private renting has grown rapidly in recent decades. In 2003, the number of children in owner-occupied housing outnumbered those in the PRS by eight to one. That ratio has now fallen to two to one as a record 1.8 million families with children rent privately, up from just 600,000 15 years ago.

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Hundreds of thousands put up with unsafe homes for fear of eviction

Posted 16.04.18
Huffpost: Article link

A quarter of a million people are living in shoddy and unsafe homes without complaint for fear of being evicted, a new study has revealed.

Research by Citizens Advice shows more than one-in-four private tenants who have experienced problems in England had not told their landlord in case they were hit with higher rents or notice to move.

Repairs and maintenance were the most commons issues reported, including mould, electrical faults and pest infestations.

Last year Citizens Advice recommended all private landlords be required to join a dispute resolution scheme.

Its latest research, published as a report called Redressing the Balance, says tenants who rent privately face a "complicated path for redress" against their landlord when they have a problem with their home.

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Crackdown on rogue agents to protect renters and leasehold homeowners

Posted 03.04.18
GOV.UK: Article link

New government proposals should lead to almost 9 million households in England's private rented and leasehold having stronger protections against rogue letting and managing agents.

With many renters and leaseholders suffering at the hands of rogue agents - from unexpected costs, deliberately vague bills or poor quality repairs - a new mandatory code of practice is proposed to stop managing and letting agents from flouting the law.

To further professionalise both sectors, letting and managing agents will be required to obtain a nationally recognised qualification to practice, with at least one person in every organisation required to have a higher qualification.

A new independent regulator responsible for working practices of agents will be given strong powers of enforcement for those who break the rules - and agents who fail to comply will not be permitted to trade. Criminal sanctions could also be brought in for those who severely breach the code.

The new code will be developed by a working group comprising representatives of letting, managing and estate agents, as well as tenants and regulation experts. The group will be established as soon as possible and is expected to draw up the final proposals in early 2019.


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Reporting on April 2018

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