The Government is planning to create a property portal for the privately rented property sector in England.
It has been announced within the Queen’s Speech to Parliament as part of the plan for a Private Renters Reform Bill.
According to the lobby pack for the speech, the portal could help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold landlords to account and support local authorities.
The announcement raises the potential for the portal to be used with a national register of privately rented properties in England.
Speaking at the GeoPlace annual conference on the day of the Queen’s Speech, William Holmes, senior policy adviser for the private rented sector at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), said equivalent portals are already in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
He said a discovery project on a national register by DLUHC has shown: “It could provide more data to give local authorities accurate information on private rental properties, and support the targeted enforcement of standards based on a better understanding of the stock.
“It could improve private landlords’ awareness of their obligations and be a conduit for communicating changes. It could also provide tenants with more information on the standards of properties they are viewing and obligations a landlord could owe to them.”
White paper plan
He added that the department is planning to publish more detail proposals for the plan as part of a white paper.
Other elements of the Renters Reform Bill include the abolition of ‘no fault’ evictions to provide more security for tenants, reforms of possession ground for landlords, applying legally binding standards for decent homes, and the introduction of a new ombudsman to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.