The Communities and Local Government Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into the private rented housing sector. In a release on the Parliamentary website, the inquiry will be wide ranging, examining a number of "hot" topics in the PRS. Given the quantity of knee Jerk activity impacting on the sector in recent years, it may be prudent to ensure that the voice of the landlord is heard in this latest "consultation" as we can be sure that some of the more vociferous lobbying groups will be shouting from their various rooftops. The list below are the proposed areas for exploration.........
1. The quality of private rented housing, and steps that can be taken to ensure that all housing in the sector is of an acceptable standard;
2. Levels of rent within the private rented sector – including the possibility of rent control and the interaction between housing benefit and rents;
3. Regulation of landlords, and steps that can be taken to deal with rogue landlords;
4. Regulation of letting agents, including agents’ fees and charges;
5. The regulation of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), including the operation of discretionary licensing schemes imposed by a local authority for a category of HMO in its area;
6. Tenancy agreements and length and security of tenure;
7. How local authorities are discharging their homelessness duty by being able to place homeless households in private sector housing.
Although not exhaustive, the committee has made it clear that because of the recent on the Financing of New Housing Supply, it does not intend to focus in particular on the issue of supply in this inquiry. Although how some of the intended agenda can be properly explored, without cognisance of the supply and demand imbalance, is difficult to comprehend.
Submissions of no more than 3,000 words are invited by 11am on 17 January 2013. Further details of how submissions can be made are available from the link above, and here.