17 Oct 2022

CIH submit evidence to the government consultation on a decent home standard in the private rented sector

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomes the government’s consultation on a Decent Homes Standard (DHS) for the private rented sector (PRS), as part of the government’s wider review of the DHS. The Chartered Institute of Housing believe that everyone deserves a place to call home and advocates that decent home standards should, as much as possible, be consistent across the social and private rented sectors, and encourage proactive landlords to go beyond the baseline of the standard to improve the quality of homes.

A copy of our submission can be read in full here. In summary:

  • CIH welcomes the extension of the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS, given that around 4.4 million households live there, yet still 21% of homes in the sector are non-decent and 12% have the most serious safety hazards according to the government’s own white paper. Whatever the sector people should be able to expect basic level of decency in their home.
  • The DHS must encompass as many of the homes within the PRS as possible with very limited exceptions, and with clear agreed timeframes to achieve this. This needs to include homes used for temporary accommodation. Given the length that many households stay in temporary accommodation, this requirement will help to drive up quality across the sector and support people at a very difficult period of life/ mitigate some of the negative impacts of homelessness for families.
  • The system of enforcement should reflect existing measures for other housing offences, to simplify and streamline the process for councils, landlords and tenants.
  • Given the scale of the sector, councils will need increased resources, including trained staff, to investigate and enforce the standard across the PRS.

James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) commented:

“Whether in social housing or the private rented, tenants everywhere should expect a basic level of decency in their home. We welcome the government’s consultation on the Decent Homes Standard which must be rolled out across the PRS, including homes used for temporary accommodation.”