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'Serious threat' Gove blasted as report finds changes made situation worse for 11m renters

The Brexit-backing Surrey Heath MP came under fire after a report produced by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee published some damning findings of the situation facing the country’s renters. It even found fast-rising rents and low standards in the private sector ensured that “safe, suitable housing is too often out of reach for renters”.

The report also revealed more than one-in-eight privately rented homes in England pose a “serious threat” to the health and safety of their occupants.

The issue also appears to have varied geographically across England leading it to be dubbed a “postcode lottery”.

Over one-in-five people renting in Yorkshire and the Humber faced a serious threat, it found.

In comparison, only nine percent of renters in London were classed in the same category.

Despite facing health and safety risks, the report found Brits are reluctant to complain due to fears of “no-fault” evictions.

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Rising house prices, which have more than trebled since the UK entered the 21st century, have made the chance for Brits to own their own homes even more difficult.

The private rental sector has even doubled over the past 20 years and now houses 11million people.

Those renting also spend a higher proportion of their income on accommodation.

According to the Independent, private tenants spend an average 32 percent of their income on their accommodation, compared to 18 percent for owner-occupiers and 27 percent for those in social housing.

The cross-party committee also concluded the piecemeal changes introduced by Mr Gove and the DLUHC had made the system even more “complex and difficult to navigate for tenants, landlords and local authorities”.

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“We need to see a change in balance.”

A DLUHC spokesperson said: “Councils should use the powers we’ve given them to crack down on rogue landlords, including issuing fines of up to £30,000 and banning those who rent out unsafe homes.

“As part of our mission to improve housing conditions and to give residents the power to hold landlords to account, we’ll introduce new legislation to improve the quality and regulation of social housing and explore proposals for a national private landlord register in England.

“We’ll also publish a landmark white paper this spring and consult on introducing a legally binding decent homes standard in the private rented sector for the first time ever.”



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