A new survey of over 500 landlords has found that six in 10 back the government's proposed introduction of a minimum set of property standards for the private rented sector as part of its Renters Reform Bill.
"The vast majority of landlords have nothing to fear from a Decent Homes Standard as they are providing a good quality home to their tenants already"
Paragon Bank research found that, of the over 500 respondents, 34% strongly support the measure, with 28% expressing general support. A further 8% weren’t aware of plans to introduce minimum standards to the sector.
Additionally, landlords expressed frustration at a lack of action to drive out rogue elements of the sector. 74% said they felt frustrated that Local Authorities don’t act against landlords who let sub-standard homes.
The private rented sector has experienced a significant improvement in the standard of homes over the past 15 years, correlating with the growth of buy-to-let finance, which Paragon’s new report, Raising the standard of privately rented property, examines.
In 2008, 44% of homes in the sector were defined as non-decent according to the Government’s English Housing Survey. Today, that figure stands at 23%.
The addition of good quality homes has diluted the presence of poorer stock; In 2008, 1.8 million privately rented homes were classed as decent, rising to 3.3 million in 2021 – an 83% increase.
There has also been a reduction in the number of properties classed as non-decent – falling from 1.4 million to 990,000, a 29% reduction.
A Decent Homes Standard was introduced for the social housing sector in 2001, with the proportion of homes that do not meet the Standard reducing from 39% in 2001 to 13% in 2020.
Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages, said:
“The vast majority of landlords have nothing to fear from a Decent Homes Standard as they are providing a good quality home to their tenants already. It’s the minority of landlords who don’t meet these standards that are tarnishing the wider reputation of the sector.
“At Paragon, we employ our own in-house team of surveyors, who assess a rental property to a stringent standard, so we act as a natural barrier to poor quality homes entering the sector. Landlords have made great strides in improving the standards of rental property over the past 15 years and they should be celebrated.”