A major think tank is calling for a radical reform of the private rental sector.
A report from the cross-party independent Social Market Foundation makes it clear that the vast majority of tenants in the private rental sector are currently happy with their properties and their landlords, but it is equally clear that reforms are still required.
It majors on four specific improvements:
1. Increasing the stability of tenancy agreements – A large majority of renters support a fixed minimum contract length: 69 per cent of those questioned by the report authors would be in favour of setting this at 24 months.
2. Giving renters more control over their homes – making it easier to keep pets or make reasonable alterations, such as to décor or energy efficiency.
3. Increase the accountability of landlords – Through a ‘Good Home, Good Landlord’ kitemark scheme, developed in consultation with renters to recognise landlords that offer good, and not just decent, accommodation.
4. Improve the standards of private rented properties – Offer tax incentives for landlords to invest in improvements that align with Good Home Good Landlord kitemark.
The SMF survey involved 1,300 UK adults who currently live in rented accommodation. Surveys were distributed by polling organisation Opinium.
The report was sponsored by Paragon Bank, although the SMF maintained independent control of its findings and recommendations.
Paragon Bank mortgage managing director Richard Rowntree says: “The outdated and tired cliches around privately renting need to be challenged and I welcome the findings from SMF’s report.
“In our experience, the vast majority of landlords seek to provide a good quality home and enjoy a healthy relationship with their tenants; the significant investment in private rented property by landlords has helped drive up standards over the past 15 years and today homes in the sector are generally newer, larger and more energy efficient than ever before."
“We always seek ways to improve the experience of renting further and welcome the recommendations contained in the report. People from all walks of life now call the private rented sector home and we must strive to create a sector that meets everybody’s needs.”
You can see details of the SMF report’s findings showing high levels of satisfaction from current tenants, here.