Tackling Substandard Accommodation
Minimum standards and repair issues are one of the daily complaints that Threshold deals with. In 2016 substandard accommodation was one of our top issues, with 1,432 cases nationally. In all probability that figure is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many of our clients living in substandard properties lack the basic necessities for a quality of living, such as adequate heating facilities, as well as hot and cold running water.
Threshold has been advocating for the introduction of an NCT-type certification system for private rented housing. The introduction of such a system would see the burden of proof for compliance with minimum standards rest with the landlord, who would be required to provide a certificate of fitness to the local authority. In our view this would promote greater compliance across the board.
Often dangerous housing is occupied by the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society and this must be addressed. One of the greatest fire safety risks in private rented accommodation is overcrowding, which is not covered under current minimum standards laws.
At the moment we are reliant on the provisions of the fire and safety regulations and planning law. This lack of clarity means some landlords are taking advantage of the housing shortage. Not only are renters being exploited financially but their lives are being put at risk. Threshold is urgently calling for emergency legislation to be put in place introducing a legal definition of overcrowding to prevent unnecessary deaths as a result of poor living standards.
Facts and Fiqures on minimum standards and 'NCT' for housing here:
from the archives :
2017: Government must ensure minimum housing standards are adhered to
2017: Threshold urges Housing Minister to reconsider self-certification for landlords
2013: 'NCT for Housing' Needed to Tackle Slum Landlords
2012: Threshold Annual Report 2012 Highlights Poor Standards in Rented Accommodation
Lend your support to our campaign for Standards in Rented Accommodation
Sign our petition here
The current system, in which local authorities are responsible for the inspection of properties in the private rented sector, is not fit for purpose.
The present system relies on landlords being caught. But the prospect of being caught is slim. There is no fear of the consequences, in the absence of regulations and proper inspections.
Lend your support to our campaign for Standards in Rented Accommodation, sign the petition here