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Agents should have policies on minimum housing standards - Propertymark

Propertymark says letting agents should have clear policies and priorities to help ensure properties are kept to the highest standards possible. 

The trade body does not spell out what these policies should be nor how these should be enforced on landlord clients, but its comments come after this week’s Panorama programme on housing affordability and housing quality in the UK during the cost of living crisis.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, says:“Tenants should expect a high standard when renting a home and letting agents should have clear policies and procedures that will give them confidence that any issues that do arise during their tenancy will be dealt with promptly.


“Propertymark agrees with the principle of a Decent Homes Standard for privately rented homes in England and are fully supportive of efforts by the Secretary of State to ensure local authorities are working to raise standards by taking appropriate enforcement action to remove poor quality housing from the sector.

"He also needs to understand the immense strain local authorities are facing when delivering their current duties regarding existing standards. Sufficient resources and commitment are not only needed now to enforce the existing laws but more will be required to ensure consistent and regular enforcement of the Decent Homes Standard when it comes into effect.”

The programme also spoke about wider affordability issues and featured various case studies including Nonni, a nurse and mother of four, said to be facing eviction in Bristol. She and her husband could not find anywhere else they could afford in the city.

In response to Panorama, Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “Changes to the cost of borrowing affects all areas of the housing market, especially with around 20 per cent of fixed mortgage deals ending over the next 12 months. The solution to the wider issue of affordability is choice.

“Rising mortgage rates have coincided with a fall in the number of new sales instructions our member agents are receiving. Our recent poll of letting agents revealed higher borrowing costs is now the main reason why landlords are selling their rental properties. On top of a decade of additional tax and regulatory burden, and the proposed tenant-centred reform of the sector, any returns on their investments are being wiped out.”


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