The Private Rented Housing Market

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However, it is possible to compare some characteristics such as age, dwelling type, energy efficiency rating band and hazards to an extent. Some national standards which differ are summarised below;. Dwelling condition is examined using housing quality indicators such as the Decent Homes Standard DHS and evaluating damp and disrepair. For a home to be classed as decent according to the DHS it must meet the statutory minimum standard for housing, provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort related to effective insulation and heating efficiency , be in a reasonable state of repair fails if one or more key building components need replacing , and have reasonably modern facilities and services based on factors such as age of kitchen, bathroom and so on.

Scotland — the tolerable standard is a minimum standard for habitability introduced in the Housing Scotland Act, and later updated. The definition of tolerable includes characteristics such as the dwelling being structurally stable and free from damp, and having provision for lighting, ventilation and heating, electrical installations that are adequate and safe, and satisfactory insulation. Private landlords are also required to comply with The Repairing Standard , whereby the property: must be wind and water-tight and fit for people to live in; structure and exterior must be in a reasonable state of repair and proper working order; installations for water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and proper working order; furnishings provided by landlord must be capable of being used safely for their designated purpose; must have a satisfactory fire detection and warning in the event of a fire; and must have satisfactory provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration hazardous to health.

The Repairing Standard has a degree of overlap with elements that are required under the tolerable standard. Under the SHQS, Social landlords must make sure that their tenants' homes are in a good state of repair, energy efficient, healthy, safe and secure. Private owners and private landlords are currently under no obligation to bring their properties up to this standard. However the data is collected across all dwellings to allow comparison across the whole housing stock.

It comprises 55 elements across these five areas and failure on just one of these 55 elements is enough to fail the entire standard. To meet the Decent Homes Standard applicable to Northern Ireland, a dwelling must: meet the current minimum fitness standard for housing, be in a reasonable stage of repair, have reasonable modern facilities and services, and provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort. NI Decent Homes Standard are not comparable with that of England and Wales due to the different fitness standard applied. For comparisons across countries, surveys were used for England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland as this was the most recent data available for England and Northern Ireland and this year was available for Scotland.

Private rented sector and rents

For Wales, the to Welsh Housing Conditions Survey was used as the data required for the comparisons were not collected in previous years. It is important to note, however, that bungalows are not accounted for separately for Scotland data and so are recorded in the house categories. Bungalows cannot be separately identified for Scotland data and so these are included in the other house sub-categories.

Standard Assessment Procedure SAP is the approach used by the government to assess and compare the energy and environmental performance of dwellings. SAP ratings are divided into bands A to G.

Regulated and non-regulated sector

The highest values that is, the highest levels of energy efficiency are assigned to Band A and the lowest values are assigned to band G. Some caution is advised when interpreting estimates for Wales due to smaller sample sizes. Mean SAP rating in the private rented sector in England was The differences in energy efficiency between the UK nations could be attributed, at least in part, to the age and or type of the dwelling stock, along with improvements to building standards over time: Wales has the oldest stock and the joint lowest average SAP rating; Northern Ireland has the newest stock and the highest average SAP rating.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System HHSRS is a risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. It is used to determine whether residential premises are safe to live in, or whether a hazard exists that may cause harm to the health and safety of a potential occupant.

The System assesses 29 types of housing hazard and provides a rating for each one. Those which score highly on the scale and are therefore the greatest risk are called Category 1 hazards — if, after a local authority inspection, a dwelling contains a Category 1 hazard the local authority has a duty to take the appropriate enforcement action. Those that fall lower down the scale and pose a lesser risk are called Category 2 hazards.

Scotland does not have a comparable measure to HHSRS Category 1 hazards, although other measures of disrepair and quality are collected and monitored on, as covered in the Scotland section.


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Despite this, levels of disrepair are still highest for the private rented stock compared to other tenures. There has been a decrease in the proportion of private rented homes with the poorest energy efficiency since , partly reflecting the growth of newer homes in the stock Figure Since 1 April there has been a requirement for private rented homes to have a minimum energy performance rating of band E, which applies to most but not all domestic private rented sector properties in England and Wales Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.

These regulations will be enforced by local authorities. The rest reside in accessible or remote small towns, and accessible or remote rural locations. The growth of the private rented sector between and has largely been concentrated in urban areas. The increase in the private rented sector in these areas has equated to an increase of , households, from 80, households in to , households in The SHCS uses four categories to measure disrepair any or basic, extensive, urgent and critical element for a range of building elements.

It is important to recognise that, while critical elements refer to building elements central to weather-tightness, structural stability and preventing deterioration of the property, the level of disrepair to these elements can be at a relatively low level. In , despite some disrepair to critical elements being fairly common, where disrepair to a critical element was present, on average no more than 2. Across all tenures, older dwellings are more likely to be below the tolerable standard. The mean SAP rating in the private rented sector was There has been a long-term improvement in the energy efficiency of private rented dwellings since Similarly, there has been a long-term reduction in the proportion of private rented dwellings in the least efficient EPC bands F and G.

This sample was too small to estimate percentage in the social rented sector. Figure Type of dwelling by tenure, Wales, to Source: Welsh Housing Conditions Survey, Welsh Government Notes: Private rented bungalows and social housing detached houses not included as these figures were not robust enough due to sample size.

The average mean SAP rating for private rented dwellings was A, B and G bands not included due to sample size issues. It should be noted that only 16 of the 29 hazards were assessed in , whilst 26 were assessed in to By tenure, in there were , dwellings in the private rented sector, compared with , in the owner-occupied sector and , in the social housing sector.

The NIHCS measures the level of unfitness of a house by assessing it against the statutory fitness standard Figure 53 , which is one component of the decent homes standard for NI. Two per cent of the dwelling stock in the private rented sector failed the statutory fitness standard in Mean SAP score for private renters was Comparatively, the overall SAP score across all sectors including vacant was Over recent years, departments and organisations responsible for the publication of the statistics in the private rented sector PRS have informally gathered feedback from those who use the data.

This has been supplemented by more formal user feedback exercises as recently carried out by Office for Statistical Regulation OSR. This feedback has built a picture of what the current limitations of PRS Statistics are and what gaps in the statistics need addressing. The purpose of this section is to draw on this feedback and provide a summary of what the main limitations are and what is being done or has been done to address these.

In reviewing the various sources of feedback for the PRS, comments typically fell into one of the following categories: granularity of price data, understanding the PRS, coherence and comparability, and the tenants in the PRS.

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There was a clear underlying theme from users that the measurement of the price of private rector rents needs addressing as a priority. The main sources of PRS price data are:. Scotland Private sector rents statistics published by the Scottish Government. Whilst users welcomed the availability of these statistics, there are limitations that they would like addressed.

There is a need to better measure price development in local rental markets lower than local authority level. On a similar note, users would like to see more detailed breakdowns of the rental market in the statistics, such as price by property type, number of rooms and so on for all geographies, so a better understanding can be built.

There is a need for official statistics to distinguish between new and existing rents; this request is in reference to the IPHRP which is a stock-based measure of rental price inflation which users would like to see broken down into those rents that are newly advertised and those of existing rents. A further request from users is for departments and organisations, where possible, to provide access to the record level microdata used in the production of rental statistics.

The Housing Executive - Private rented sector and rents research

There is a gap in official statistics describing the stock and distribution of the private rented sector. For example, what does the stock of the UK private rented sector look like, and how has this changed over time? What types of property are being rented in the sector?


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Providing statistics to measure this sector is essential so users can understand what is happening both at the aggregate level and a level that will allow analysis of local housing markets. The census, annual dwelling stock estimates and house condition surveys are published for each country which do provide a broad overview of changes in levels of private renting, but more granularity is required. Users are aware that more data is slowly becoming available for the PRS, such as the data collected through the Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes TDPS and there is an expectation that this will be used to improve the measurement of the sector in due course.

There is a need for transparency in the methods used to produce these statistics with sufficient explanation of the rationale for the differences between them and when comparing these measures with the rental price statistics being produced by private sector companies.

Proportion of UK renters has doubled in 20 years – and here’s why

Additionally, users have requested a fully comparable time series for both price levels and the inflation measure, as currently the PRMS and rental price levels published by Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland , are based on simple averages, which are influenced by changing compositions and should not be used to make comparison over time. This leads to confusion with IPHRP which adjusts for compositional change and is appropriate for growth calculations.

Some of the feedback highlighted a need to understand more about those people in the PRS. For example, what are the motivations of both landlords and tenants in the PRS and what is their assessment of the quality of properties being rented? Users would also like more statistics covering the affordability of the PRS, although this was also needed in the context of the wider housing market. However, as discussed above there are areas which need improvement.

The formation of the Cross-Government Housing Statistics Group will help facilitate some of these necessary improvements. It already has a number of enhancements and is planning further developments to better meet user requirements. As it stands, these two outputs are produced by different departments ONS and VOA respectively but using the same underlying source data for England, which is the comprehensive lettings data collected by VOA Rental Officers as part of their responsibilities to administer functions relating to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

Access to this data would provide an excellent opportunity for the further development of private rental prices based on the expertise and resource available within ONS for this work, and the unique access ONS has to other supplementary data that can be used to enrich the rental microdata. The potential provision of this data to ONS would enable several positive developments that would improve the measurement of price in the private rented sector, including:.

The above, should the provision of data to ONS take place, will ultimately allow for a more comprehensive statistical picture of the PRS. These include:. Beyond the proposed improvement in price data for the PRS, work has been taking place to introduce improved estimates that will address some of the other limitations experienced by users. Most notably, looking at statistics to help understand the PRS, some new analysis will be published in early that makes use of Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme data to provide subnational estimates of the stock of privately rented dwellings against which a secured deposit is held England only.

This new analysis will hopefully be supplemented by further administrative data in due course to provide a more complete picture of the PRS. The aim of HSAR is to bring together a range of data on the characteristics, fabric, condition and energy efficiency of the housing stock in Wales across all tenures including the private rented sector. It will provide a continuous and robust anonymised evidence base, where possible at the individual property level. It will be used to inform housing and environment policy direction, particularly housing conditions and fuel poverty.

HSAR will link administrative, survey and modelled data and will be used alongside the Welsh Housing Conditions Survey to provide improved modelling of data at a lower level of geography. In addition, it will provide more up-to-date data than that available from periodic housing conditions surveys.

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A progress report PDF, 1. In terms of better measurement of the people and conditions in PRS, several updated statistics have been published recently that provide users with a better understanding of the quality of the PRS.

This was the first Welsh survey of housing conditions since the Living in Wales Property Survey in It included data on housing stock and household characteristics, housing conditions, standard and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Detailed topic specific reports will follow from Spring Likewise, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive published the updated Northern Ireland House Condition Survey report in May , for the reference year having previously produced estimates for The content of the report changes year on year following user consultation.

The questionnaire content is also reviewed annually to ensure that the survey continues to capture the right information. They are the single licensing authority for Wales, representing all 22 local authorities, and are responsible for maintaining a register of all private landlords and their properties. They also lead on enforcing against landlords in breach of Part 1 of the Housing Wales Act The register is available to search by property, landlord or agent name. A property search will tell you who the landlord of a property is, and who the nominated licensee for that property is and their licence status.

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