I beg to move,
That this House
has considered the Fourth Report of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Private rented sector, HC 440, and the Government response, Cm 9639.
It is always a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell. The Select Committee chose to have the inquiry because of the increasing importance of the private rented sector, which has doubled in size over 15 years. Clearly, more families are living in the sector than ever before, and more people see it as their long-term form of accommodation, whether by choice or because it is the only form available to them.
The Committee heard that 82% of people were satisfied with their accommodation, although when people answer such surveys, I sometimes question whether expectations are as high as they might be. If we look at other figures, we see that while non-decent accommodation in the sector fell from 47% to 27% over 10 years, the actual number of non-decent properties has stayed the same—it is a lower percentage of a larger number. Citizens Advice also produced figures showing that 41% of tenants in the sector had waited longer than they thought reasonable for repairs to be carried out, and 800,000 properties had a category 1 hazard.
There are therefore problems, but while many properties might have some problems, other properties are clearly in a really bad state of repair, with some landlords doing little about it—indeed, they almost run a business in properties of that type.