Private Rented Housing
Communities and Local Government
Adrian Sanders (Torbay, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration his Department has given to applying the decent homes standard to English private rented sector housing; and if he will assess the practicality of adopting this approach as a means of raising standards in the sector.
Andrew Stunell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Hazel Grove, Liberal Democrat)
Local authorities have powers, under the Housing Act 2004, to assess the risks and hazards in all residential properties using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. If a property is found to contain serious (category 1) hazards, the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action. This could range from trying to deal with the problems informally at first to prohibiting the use of the whole or part of the dwelling. This system provides an important safety net, ensuring that homes are safe and decent.
Local authorities also have powers to establish a local licensing system for certain rented properties and to set appropriate standards. We believe this is a proportionate framework, and have no plans to adopt a national scheme.