The Government inquiry into the Private Rented Sector

The Government has announced an inquiry into the Private Rented Sector and is inviting submissions of no more than 3,000 words by 11am on 17 January 2013.
The announcement on the Parliament website says:The Communities and Local Government Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into the private rented housing sector.

The Committee invites submissions from interested parties covering the quality and regulation of private rented housing, and levels of rent within the sector. Those making submissions may wish to consider the following issues:· 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;

· levels of rent within the private rented sector – including the possibility of rent control and the interaction between housing benefit and rents;

· regulation of landlords, and steps that can be taken to deal with rogue landlords;

· regulation of letting agents, including agents’ fees and charges;

· 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;

· tenancy agreements and length and security of tenure; and

· how local authorities are discharging their homelessness duty by being able to place homeless households in private sector housing.

In its recent report on the Financing of New Housing Supply, the Committee considered the supply of housing across all tenures; it does not therefore propose to focus in particular on supply in this inquiry.

It will be important for all landlords and letting agents to make their views known to the Communities and Local Government Committee.