Government brining in measures targeted at improving the private rented sector

Feb 23rd 2010

John Healey announces measures to improve the private rented sector 04/02/2010

On 3 February 2010, John Healey announced a package of measures targeted at improving the private rented sector. His announcement follows on from government’s private rented sector: professionalism and quality – consultation in 2009.

Measures for immediate implementation include:

Measures for immediate implementation include:

* A new national private sector tenants' helpline to be established in partnership with the voluntary sector; and
* An increase in the threshold for Assured Shorthold Tenancies from £25,000 to £100,000 aggregate annual rent; to be implemented in April 2010 subject to parliamentary time to lay the regulations.

The Government also announced a consultation on Investing in the UK Private Rented Sector, which will explore the potential economic and fiscal barriers to investment. The consultation exercise closes on 28 April 2010.

Other announcements included:

* Commitment in principle to the establishment of a national landlord register; but a recognition that some detailed issues still need to be resolved;
* Commitment in principle to the better regulation of letting and managing agents; but a recognition that some detailed issues still need to be resolved;
* Commitment in principle to the introduction of written tenancy agreements;
* Ongoing support for the concept of Local Lettings Agencies and a desire for councils to develop a better understanding of private renting as part of their wider Housing Strategy; respondents' concerns about the current housing benefit regime have also been noted and are currently subject to a separate DWP consultation exercise; and
* A basic accreditation standard will be developed by Government in partnership with stakeholders. Most respondents felt the standard should be based on the core values already developed by ANUK.

Rather than issue a further consultation paper, the proposals will be taken forward by a new Private Rented Sector Task Force comprising representatives from a wide range of stakeholder organisations. LACORS will seek to be involved on behalf of local government.

For full details, please see The private rented sector: professionalism and quality - consultation; summary of responses and next steps; January 2010. Part 3 contains a summary of the responses to the consultation.

Richard Tacagni
Head of Function
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020 7665 3880