More Reasons for Private Rented Sector to be Scared

The Department for Communities and Local Government and Housing Minster, Brandon Lewis MP have played another “blinder” and hammered home yet another nail in the coffin for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in the form of “Pay to Stay”.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, said:

 “It’s not fair that other hard-working people are subsidising the lifestyles of higher-earners to the tune of £3,500 per year, when the money could be used to build more affordable homes.”

 “’Pay to stay’ will ensure that those tenants on higher incomes who are living in social housing have a rent that reflects their ability to pay, while those who genuinely need support continue to receive it.”

Here is the link to The Department for Communities and Local Government press release:


So why is the “Pay to Stay” bad for Private Rented Sector?

Housing Associations can now charge full market rent to tenants who have a household income in excess of £30,000 per annum, the very same tenants the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is looking to attract, but which is more appealing to a tenant a private landlord or a Housing Association?

My guess would be a Housing Association is the more attractive option for a host of reasons but the most obvious being:

  • Tenants will be able to buy their Housing Association property after just 3 years with a 35% discount if it’s house and a 50% discount on a flat

So for professional working tenants currently renting from a PRS landlord making the switch to a Housing Association landlord makes sound financial sense.

Next question where are all the low income and tenants in receipt of benefits going to be housed?

You can also read about other ways Government Attacks Private Rented Sector

House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) & Fire Safety

Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government show an increase in the number of commercial premises found to be satisfactory during audits by fire and rescue services across England with 59% of building deemed satisfactory during 2011-12 an increase of 3% for the period 2010-2011.

Fire and rescue services focused their audits on premises deemed to be high risk which included care homes, hotels, hospitals, educational establishments and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

No prizes for guessing which high risk group came bottom of the pile; you’ve guessed it Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).  Of all Houses in Multiple Occupation inspected only 42% HMO resulted in a satisfactory audit inspection.

Commenting on the report, Graham Ellicott, chief executive officer of the Fire Industry Association, said: “The FIA welcomes the reported increase in satisfactory fire safety audits but cautions against complacency. In addition, the definition of satisfactory varies markedly between different fire and rescue services.

“For example some will ‘mark’ even minor failures as unsatisfactory whereas others in the same situation will offer guidance and advice and if this rectifies problems then no further action is taken.

“Thus it can be difficult to compare the figures between the fire and rescue services and a more appropriate comparison is year on year for the same fire and rescue service.”

A ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment must be carried out on all commercial properties in England and Wales under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to two years if they fail to comply with the legislation.