Watchdog says government fails to protect private tenants from harassment and unsafe housing


Boris JohnsonThe government does not protect private tenants because of insecurity House and bad behavior by rogue homeowners, according to a damning report by a top watchdog.

The National Audit Office (NAO) says the regulation is not yet effective enough to ensure that private tenants across the UK are treated fairly and that their housing is safe and secure.

The Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities “does not yet have a detailed plan to address the issues tenants face,” the NAO stated.

Michael GoveThe Department’s Department has taken only a partial approach to regulation – including a moratorium on permitting fees and a temporary moratorium on expulsion during the pandemic, the watchdog said.

However, the government still does not have a clear strategy for regulating the industry as a whole and is not collecting enough data on harassment, evictions and vandalism, the NAO warned.

Labor MP Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said scathing reports showed tenants faced a “postcode lottery” over the standards of their homes. and the treatment of tenants.

The influential protester said: “The most vulnerable people in society are often the ones who suffer the most. The department’s approach to regulation has been too patchy and it has been hampered by a worrying lack of data.”

She said Mr Gove’s department must now “bring some order to the chaos and lay out a clear vision for the private rental market” so tenants are better protected.

The current system relies heavily on tenants exercising their rights and negotiating directly with landlords or going to court over financing or poor-quality housing, the NAO argued.

The watchdog said privately rented properties were less likely to comply with safety requirements than other types of housing and more likely to be classified as shoddy.

An estimated 23 per cent of privately rented homes in the UK are classified as ‘indecent’ – meaning they are a potential threat to one’s health, they are not properly repaired or they are not efficiently insulated or heated.

Mr Gove’s department is planning to introduce reforms to the rental private sector and has committed to a white paper by 2022, but Labor accuses the government of having a ‘handle’ on the matter. .

Reacting to the NAO report, the Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the government to give councils across Britain more power to set up landlord licensing schemes.

“With more powers, such as the freedom to set up landlord licensing schemes, councils will be better established to support a good local private rental offer in the community.” their council,” said councilor David Renard, LGA housing spokesman.

Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, urges the government to require all UK homeowners to register their properties. “This will help governments and councils better collect data on the sector, improve law enforcement and give tenants better access to troubleshooting,” the campaigner said. .

Ben Beadle, chief executive officer of the National Residential Rental Landlords Association (NRLA), said the agency supported the NAO’s call for a more “strategic approach”.

The landlord group’s executive director also said “there is an urgent need for a better evidence base to ensure the system focuses on rooting out criminal and rogue landlords who bring The sector is going bad.” Watchdog says government fails to protect private tenants from harassment and unsafe housing


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