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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH calls on government to introduce new standards for private rented sector


New minimum standards should be introduced for the private rented sector and landlords should receive tax incentives for signing up to accreditation schemes, the Chartered Institute of Housing has said.

CIH made the calls in its budget submission to government.

The submission said more needs to be done to improve the quality of private homes across the board, including a new set of minimum standards for landlords which cover property conditions and housing management.

It also called for tax incentives for private landlords who sign up to an accreditation scheme and new measures to allow local authorities to enforce standards. And it calls for the regulation of letting agents to stamp out poor practice.

Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “The private rented sector has grown considerably since the 1990s and is now the second largest tenure after home ownership.

“Though many landlords provide good quality housing, standards are highly inconsistent and at the lower end of the market they can be very poor.

“We think more can be done to improve standards for the millions of tenants in private rented accommodation, including the introduction of a set of minimum standards and other measures which incentivise providing good quality accommodation.

“We expect that the large number of landlords who are already providing good quality homes and services will already be operating at a level at or above the minimum standards we envisage.”

CIH’s budget submission also asks for more funding to secure the development of new homes for affordable and social rent. That follows its projections last week that 250,000 homes for social rent will have been lost between 2012 and 2020.

And it calls for a reversal of the decision to lower the benefit cap, which its research revealed will hit 116,000 families across the UK.

In its submission CIH also calls for:

• New support for local authorities to become major house builders – including exemption from the rent reduction in exchange for a commitment to build homes

• The development of a new funding model for supported housing – including a long-term commitment on top-up funding to give certainty to providers

• More loan funding for regeneration – increasing the current £140 million by £300 million.

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