Cambridge City Council contacted us yesterday to advise that the consultation regarding the proposed Private Rented Sector Housing Standard is now open.
They explained that they recognise that the many landlords and property agents in Cambridge play a key role in meeting the City's housing needs and acknowledged that current housing standards are outdated and that those responsible do not always understand which parts apply to the accommodation they manage.
We are in full support of clarification over commonly asked questions including those relating to rooms sizes, minimum requirements for amenities, heating provision and fire safety. With 26% of the city’s households privately renting and with house prices above the national average and in high demand, additional pressure is placed on the private rented sector so it is therefore vital that focus is applied to sustaining the quality of it.
The Housing Act 2004 enables local housing authorities to set their own standards in respect of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in particular. These standards must be equal to or higher than national minimum prescribed standards.
Cambridge City Council explain that the main purpose of their proposed new Private Sector Housing Standard is to further protect the health, safety and general wellbeing of tenants. Giving local landlords and property managers a clear and consistent local standard that covers key areas, will help them provide safe and suitable accommodation in compliance with relevant national legislation.
The key areas covered by the proposed standard are:
• The definition of house in multiple occupation (HMO) under the Housing Act 2004
• HMO licensing criteria
• Fire safety standards
• Amenities standards
• Minimum space standards in terms of sleeping rooms
For further information and to join us in submitting your views on the proposed Private Sector Housing Standards for Cambridge, please use the following web link to access the Consultations page of the Cambridge City Council website https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/consultations. You will be able to access a copy of the draft standard as well as a link to the consultation questionnaire via which you can provide Cambridge City Council with your views.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the proposed standards so please give us a call on 01223 352225 or email Cambridge@belvoir.co.uk
Emma Dighton is the Regional Director of Operations for Belvoir Peterborough, Stamford and Cambridge. Emma has worked in the industry for 10 years and is passionate about helping to create a stable and fair PRS whilst recognising that Property is a business venture for many and believes that it can be both if managed correctly. Emma is the voluntary local chair of the Peterborough National Landlords Association and sits on a working group to raise awareness and prevent organised crime and modern slavery in Cambridgeshire.