Social landlord rules won’t be mirrored in private sector

New rules expecting social landlords to tackle issues like mould quickly won’t be passed on to the private sector, a debate in the House of Lords indicates.

The rules will mean landlords in the social rented sector must investigate hazards within 14 days, start repairs within seven, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours.

Shadow housing spokesman Lord Khan of Burnley asked what the government was planning to do to tackle the private rented sector, saying that millions of children also live with issues like damp, mould or cold temperatures.

However Housing Minister Baroness Scott of Bybrook responded: “There are differences between the rented housing tenures.

“Almost half of private rental landlords own a single property and the vast majority own fewer than five so, unlike social housing landlords, very few will have in-house or contracted repair and maintenance teams, which makes it more difficult.

“We have to consider proportionate timescales in legislation for the private rented sector.”

She added that the upcoming Renters Reform Bill will do more to tackle these issues.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff suggested the government to introduce a “registration point where people who feel that their housing is seriously below standard can report the issue and discuss it”.

Scott responded by saying it’s not been considered and “I am not sure that local authorities have the capacity to that at this time”.