New charter to set standard for private rented housing in Plymouth

Landlords in Plymouth are being asked to sign up to a new charter to improve private rented homes in the city.

A consultation is being launched today (Thursday 23 October) to share the draft Charter for PR Housing with landlords, tenants, and the wider public in Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council has committed, as one of its 50 pledges to the people of Plymouth, to improving the quality of private rented housing and taking action against rogue landlords, and this Charter will help achieve that. The Fairness Commission report also recommended that developing new standards for housing would make it clearer for both tenants and landlords as to whether those standards were being met.

The Charter aims to:

  • Increase the supply of good quality accommodation
  • Recognise good landlords and take action against bad ones
  • Empower tenants by giving them information on their rights and responsibilities

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety, said: “We want to make this a true ‘Plymouth Charter’ with the full backing and support of key agencies, organisations and individuals involved in the private rented housing sector. It is one of our pledges to the people of Plymouth and also responds to the Fairness Commission’s recommendations.

“Working together, we want to improve conditions by supporting good landlords, bringing more landlords up to the standards of the best, and taking robust action against those that do not meet what is required of them.

“We have already demonstrated as a Council that we will not tolerate rogue landlords. The Council recently took over the management of two houses in the city using Interim Management Orders against rogue landlords following repeated warnings about the quality and safety of the properties.

“This Charter will further help drive up standards in private rented housing in the city and we want your views to help us make the Charter as robust and effective as possible.”

This house was seized earlier in the year by PCC with an interim management order.

This house was seized earlier in the year by PCC with an interim management order.

Gillian Kerr from South West Landlords Associations said:  “We are pleased to be able to work with Plymouth City Council to help develop this Charter.  It is important that good landlords are recognised and that we work together to drive up standards in private rented accommodation in Plymouth.”

Alanna Cohen Social Policy Officer for Plymouth CAB part of the Advice Plymouth Partnership, commented that: ‘We welcome any move towards ensuring that there is more affordable accommodation; that it is acceptable in terms of conditions and management arrangements; and, that both tenants and landlords are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities. An agreed Charter for private rented housing can help us to achieve this.’

As well as landlords and tenants, the Council will be consulting with letting agents, investors, housing support agencies, local colleges and universities.

Following the consultation the Council will be working with partners to develop and advance the Charter, with a view to launching the final Plymouth Charter for Private Rented Housing in March 2015.

The consultation runs until Friday 28 November 2014. To give us your views please: