Shelter and British Gas launch new partnership

10 October 2012

Man and child at a window

Shelter and British Gas have launched a new five-year partnership, to improve living conditions for one million British households.

The partnership centres on a three-point plan, Better Homes for Britain, which will look at improving standards in the private rented sector. 

The plan includes:

  1. a joint commitment to improve the standard of one million homes in the private rented sector over the next five years
  2. helping private landlords meet the statutory minimum standard for private rented homes
  3. policy recommendations to raise standards in the private rented sector.

The partnership will also include the widest ever census of private rented living.

Since 2001, the number of private rented homes has grown from 2.06 million to 3.62 million, a rise of 75%

Around 1.4 million of these (37%) do not meet the basic standard of being a ‘decent home,’* due to issues including damp, disrepair and insufficient or broken heating.

Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas said: ‘Dilapidated properties with dangerous or inefficient old boilers and inadequate insulation are far too prevalent in the private rental sector. We need a culture of energy efficiency, and standards need to be raised.’

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: ‘At Shelter we see so many shocking examples of families forced to live in homes that are damp, in appalling condition or even unsafe to live in.

‘Together with British Gas, we’ll have the scale and reach to improve the condition of a million homes and set out the policy reform we need to improve our private rental sector for good.’

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* English Housing Survey, DCLG