Improving the private rented sector: case studies

We strongly believe that case studies can help stimulate discussion about the options for tackling the problems in the private rented sector that will improve the health and well-being of tenants.

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The three aims of the case studies are to:

  • illustrate the opportunities and challenges faced by councils and their partners
  • highlight the geographical diversity of the private rented sector including policy and practice responses
  • encourage innovative thinking through lesson learning.

We strongly believe that case studies can help stimulate discussion about the options for tackling the problems in the private rented sector that will improve the health and well-being of tenants.


Nevertheless, despite this diversity, there are ten themes that emerge from the case studies. These are: 

Ten common themes
  • understand the changing dynamics of the local private rented sector
  • focus on the poorly performing sectors of the private rented market
  • target the inadequate housing conditions of vulnerable tenants
  • ensure that private rented sector policies are aligned with broader strategies on, for example, neighbourhood renewal, boosting the economy and improving the health and well-being of vulnerable households
  • secure political and senior officer commitment
  • develop and maintain a multi-disciplinary approach
  • achieve a balance between consumer regulation and enforcement 
  • provide a transparent policy on the enforcement policies and processes
  • utilise Government and other funding pots (eg LGA Housing Adviser Programme)
  • consider sharing skills and resources between councils and other stakeholders.

Case studies

The case studies have been selected based on three considerations. Firstly, they have been drawn from a wide range of types of authorities and regions. Secondly, they illustrate the diversity of issues and responses. Thirdly, and pragmatically, there is their willingness to participate.

In total, there are twelve district and unitary local authority case studies. In addition, there is a city region case study – Greater Manchester. Decent and Safe Homes (DASH) East Midlands is also included as a case study and is an independent regional organisation that is associated with Derby City Council.  

 

Blackpool

Coastal resort with central neighbourhoods dominated by private renting and housing vulnerable households. 

Type: Unitary
Region: North West

Read the full case study

Boston

Agriculture and food production economy using migrant labour who are housed in the private rented sector.

Type: District
Region: East Midlands

Read the full case study

Bristol

High levels of population growth, including students, leading to major pressures on the housing market including the lack of affordability of private renting

Type: Unitary
Region: South West

Read the full case study

Coventry

Buoyant economy and population growth leading to a growing reliance on the private rented to meet housing needs

Type: Unitary
Region: West Midlands

Read the full case study

Derby

Growing private rented sector concentrated in three inner city neighbourhoods with a priority on urgent enforcement action.

Type: Unitary
Region: East Midlands

Read the full case study

Fenland

Modern slavery and the private rented sector.

Type: District
Region: East of England

Read the full case study

Hartlepool

Private rented sector issues are part of a broader set of concerns associated with regenerating older inner city neighbourhoods.

Type: Unitary
Region: North East

Read the full case study

Hull

Large and changing private rented sector with poor quality / empty stock of low value concentrated in older neighbourhoods.

Type: Unitary
Region: Yorkshire & the Humber

Read the full case study

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

High proportion of private rented stock - over 40 per cent. Dynamic sector with short-term lets becoming a big issue

Type: London Borough
Region: London

Read the full case study

Oxford

High demand housing market with a major role for the private rented sector in meeting housing requirements

Type: District
Region: South East

Read the full case study

Stoke-on-Trent

Diverse and growing private rented sector in generally poor condition and housing vulnerable households

Type: Unitary
Region: West Midlands

Read the full case study

Sunderland

Large private rented sector concentrated in specific areas and linked to broader neighbourhood renewal issues.

Type: Unitary
Region: North East

Read the full case study

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

City region focus

Type: Combined Authority
Region: North West

Read the full case study

Decent and Safe Homes (DASH)

Sub-regional focus based on supporting individual local authorities

Type: N/A
Region: East Midlands

Read the full case study