New rules on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties have recently been announced, as the government continues to push forward safety standards in the private and social rented sectors. While the rule changes have come out of a 2020 white paper on social housing, the amended regulations will affect private rented accommodation too.
As a new 440-unit Build-to-Rent (BTR) development is announced, a separate study has found that amid claims by some that the sector is expensive for renters, it is actually more affordable than the Private Rental Sector (PRS). While the BTR segment remains relatively niche with the majority of the developments available in just 20 English cities, on a rent-to-income basis, it is considered affordable by certain standards set by the Office for National Statistics.
A new report suggests that local authorities are still failing to tackle criminal landlords, despite having extensive powers to do so. Coming at a time when many councils have implemented additional/selective licensing schemes for landlords, this does seem to cast some doubt on the value of these schemes, and poses some interesting questions in the context of upcoming rental reform.
The UK's supply of rental homes is once again coming under pressure as demand from tenants across most regions continue to recover from the lows seen during the height of the pandemic. Two separate surveys report that demand from tenants is rising across the country with London in particular experiencing a sustained period of increased interest.
The UK's Ministry of Justice is piloting a new dispute resolution service to help avoid disagreements between tenants and landlords from escalating and reaching costly and time-consuming court proceedings. While mediation is something that a number of letting industry trade bodies support, including ARLA Propertymark, the group says any investment needs to focus on ensuring the service is available to those involved much earlier in the process.