Briefing: using the private rented sector to tackle homelessness

By: Deborah Garvie and Ellie Robinson  Published: March 2013


Changes in the Localism Act 2011 give local authorities more scope to place homeless households in private rented homes, increasing your options for placements. These powers also provide an opportunity to build stronger links with local landlords and raise the general standards of rented homes in your area.

Summary

The private rented sector does not always provide families with the stability they need, and too often standards are not up to scratch. We think this option should only be used as a last resort. This briefing sets out the alternatives. If you do need to place homeless families in private rented homes, government guidance requires your council to develop clear policies for doing so.

This briefing will help you ensure that your council:

  • Exhausts all options that might avoid the necessity of offering private rented accommodation.
  • Makes offers which are in line with the government regulations and guidance.
  • Makes offers that are within households’ means.
  • Offers tenancies that are sustainable for households.
  • Offers properties that are safe and in a decent condition.
  • Uses this opportunity to build better relationships with the private rented sector in your area.
  • Does not undermine other authorities’ management of their local private rented sector

 

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