When it comes to the private rental sector of the industry, the the kink in the chain is definitely sub-standard homes and getting these homes in order and ready to re-enter the market is tough with the increase of government involvement.
That’s the message from the COO of automated payment platform PayProp UK, Neil Cobbold.
He says the government's review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, or HHSRS, is happening at just the right time for the fast-growing lettings sector.
The HHSRS was introduced in 2006 as a provision of the Housing Act 2004.
It provides local authorities with the means to check health and safety in residential properties: councils can use the HHSRS to recover costs from landlords for repair works or order them to carry out improvements.
Typical hazards that can be flagged through the HHSRS include damp, overcrowding and fire risks, with issues ranked in importance and starting with a 'category 1' hazard as the most dangerous.
Back in October, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a review of the HHSRS - a move welcomed by Cobbold in the light of the findings of the most recent English Housing Survey, published in January.
This shows that the private rental sector accounts for the highest proportion of ‘non-decent’ homes at 25 per cent. For a home to be considered 'decent', it must meet HHSRS minimum standards with, amongst other things, no category 1 hazards.
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