Regulation of the PRS is “failing at multiple levels” with poor housing conditions across the market, a landmark review has said. The research, funded by the Nationwide Foundation, was conducted by Dr Julie Rugg and David Rhodes of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. In their report they say that one in five let at the top 20% of rents do not meet the Decent Homes Standard. One in three at the bottom 20% fail the standard, which is the level of condition required of council and housing association-owned homes. They warned that welfare reforms are creating “a slum tenure” in the cheapest private rented housing. They found that policy interventions such as build-to-rent are focused on helping higher and middle-income earners who are unable to afford home ownership. There is little or no help for those on low incomes. Dr Rugg concluded that there needs to be a fundamental rethink of the role that private renting plays in the housing market. There also needs to be a comprehensive strategy to make sure it meets the needs of every renter. The report also called for a national MOT-style system for checking and licensing private sector homes. Their concept is one where independent inspectors would assess the fitness of properties and licences would be listed on a national database.

The Chief Executive of the Nationwide Foundation, Leigh Pearce, said that fundamental reform and a clear strategy is needed to fix renting.

This news item came from an insidehousing article on the Nationwide Foundation review of the PRS.

A good summary of the findings of the Nationwide review of the PRS can also be found here, on the housing rights website.  Their summary highlights the implications of findings for low income households and those on benefits.

This link will take you to the Nationwide Foundation report on the PRS.