The tables have turned regarding the capital’s housing crisis following the pandemic-driven mass metro exodus, with many now flocking back to as restrictions ease and businesses reopen.
Now the primary issue for London is the upward pressure on property and rental prices as demand soars well above the current inventory levels; there simply aren’t enough houses to meet tenant demands. As a result, London rents reached a record high in January 2022, while the number of available rentals has plummeted by 71% since the year before.
Such unbalanced market conditions can lead to tenants having little choice but to suffer from even more corners being cut when it comes to standards of living and landlord conduct. Rising rental costs are also now taking up a staggering average of 42% of household incomes in London. Poor conditions, subpar landlords, and high rental costs in addition to such low inventory are creating the perfect storm for struggling tenants, contributing to issues such as financial hardship, serious illness, and even homelessness.
The issues arising from poor rental conditions and rogue landlords have long been requiring exponentially more attention, and finally, some vital solutions are on the table.
Spotlight on improving living condition standards
Recent statistics report that approximately 4.4 million households are currently renting their homes from private UK landlords. According to the 2019 English Housing Survey, the condition of 23% of those rental properties was not satisfactory enough to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
Following this report, the government is stepping in with initiatives aimed at improving rental sector standards. A recent announcement has set out some key regulatory changes, including the launch of a new landlord register, and a set of national standards that landlords must comply with. In addition, any rental properties that are not compliant must be refitted to ensure that they are ‘safe, warm, and in a good state of repair’ for their tenants.
These government-based changes are a promising start in the right direction. However, the way in which the private rental sector is regulated still leaves far too much room for tenants in the sector to remain ill-equipped to effect any real change if they are currently suffering in poor conditions at the hands of rogue landlords. In addition, local authorities do not have access to the necessary funding or resources to proactively check properties for compliance and action any redress. Tenants still have no voice; until now.
Treehaus launches transformational platform
Treehaus, founded by social entrepreneur Neil Nichols and technologist Mark Brown, is on a mission to transform the rental sector with the UK’s first national rental database and landlord review platform.
Never would it be acceptable for a hotel or Airbnb to expect a customer to accept such issues as mouldy walls or no hot water. On the contrary, there would be ramifications, including negative reviews that could damage reputations. This fear of public scrutiny is one of the reasons that many landlords and other accommodation managers ensure that high standards are maintained. It’s time this same level of accountability was introduced into the long-term rental sector.
As a result, Treehaus has launched a first-of-its-kind, national UK rental property database alongside a landlord review platform set to revolutionise the sector and bring about full transparency and accountability.
Following many months of intense market research, Treehaus hopes that, as the platform gains momentum, it will help to match tenants with good landlords and properties, while simultaneously ensuring that any rogue landlords are held accountable. The intention is that a new era of inescapable transparency will result in good landlords being championed, questionable landlords being held accountable, and standards across the board being driven up as a result.
The Treehaus database already covers 80-90 percent of the UK’s private and social rental properties, making it easy for renters to submit their reviews by entering in their postcode and finding their property.
Get on board and help transform the rental sector
With Treehaus’ groundbreaking platform, UK tenants finally have the power to publicly review their landlords, and the rental properties they experience. Treehaus aims to reach its first 1 million reviews in order to secure a scalable platform that can transform fairness in the sector.
The platform welcomes both positive and negative reviews, with the express aim of fairness for all – not just to drag issues regarding rogue landlords into the light, but to give good landlords the praise they deserve.
To join the rental standards revolution and leave a review for your rental property, visit www.treehaus.com and enter your postcode.