Earlier in 2022, the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper outlined the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard for the private rental sector. This huge shake up for the industry means more laws for landlords to abide by and extra regulations to comply with. Without precise detail from the Government, LandlordBuyer speculates what a Decent Homes Standard may look like in the private rental sector.

Raising the standards

Although new for the private rental sector, the Decent Homes Standard has existed in the social housing sector for many years. Its aim is to keep property standards high and to protect tenants, ensuring they have a safe place to live. It has required social landlords to maintain their properties to meet a set of criteria, such as being warm and weatherproof with reasonably modern facilities.

How will a new Decent Homes Standard affect the private rental sector?

The Decent Homes Standard for the private rental sector aims to make sure that homes are free from the most serious health and safety hazards. Because such a standard has not existed for private rental homes before, it will mean that landlords will have to be more proactive in maintaining their properties and addressing issues before they escalate.

Although landlords already have to abide by the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, a new Decent Homes Standard may focus on the age and modernity of fixtures and fittings – a new aspect for landlords to consider. LandlordBuyer believes kitchens and bathrooms will need to be located correctly, adequately and not be too old in order to meet incoming standards. In addition, homes will need to be warm and dry, and facilities will need to be kept in a clean and usable condition for tenants.

What does this mean for landlords?

Some landlords face an extensive list of costly refurbishment work to get their properties up to a new minimum standard as, unlike the past, a really dated bathroom suite or kitchen from the 1970s may not make the grade. It’s also possible that landlords will need to redecorate certain rooms in order to meet the new Decent Homes Standard.

Sadly, new regulations come at a time when we’re getting closer to more stringent EPC standards. Landlords are already having to make major energy efficiency changes, such as installing heat pumps, solar panels, EV car charging points and increased levels of insulation, and this is all at a time when materials are becoming more expensive and labour harder to secure.

Time to call it a day?

If you think a new Decent Homes Standard won’t make financial sense for your buy-to-let portfolio, there is a way out. Why not get a free cash offer for your properties and sell to LandlordBuyer? We will buy any rented property, regardless of its condition - even if it does not meet the new incoming standards. Start with an online valuation today.

Waiting for landlords is a no obligation cash offer and sellers can complete in as little as seven working days, if need be. Get your instant cash offer now.

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