Transforming the Private Rented Sector

We will help transform the private rented sector so that it provides homes for people in need that are more affordable, secure, accessible and are better quality.

The private rented sector is too often characterised by insecurity, poor living conditions, high rents and a lack of choice, meaning that many tenants experience instability and inequality. In addition, growth of the private rented sector in recent years means that it is larger than the social housing sector and in many cases it is the only housing option accessible to many of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK.

The unacceptable living conditions and the number of already disadvantaged people being forced to live in these homes is having a massive negative social impact, not just on individuals, but on our society as whole. People are suffering from financial hardship because of unaffordable housing costs, and the private rented sector also affects physical and mental health, as well opportunities to maximise employment and education. Combined, these disadvantages make it very difficult to establish settled and financially secure lives.

The change we want to see is that the private rented sector provides homes for people in need which are more affordable, secure, accessible and are better quality.

We believe that the private rented sector needs systemic change: making improvements will not be enough to make a meaningful difference. Instead we want to help transform the sector so that it offers truly decent and affordable homes to every private tenant.

We want to see more robust evidence of the solutions to address the issues of affordability, quality, security and access in the private rented sector being used to inform policy and practice. In addition, we would like tackling the issues of the private rented sector to be a greater priority for government (local, devolved and national).

We want to help create a future of private renting where tenants are able to access and sustain their tenancies; where landlords deliver a high quality of service to tenants; where tenants have a strong voice in the debates about housing; and where tenants have robust rights which are effectively enforced.

We believe that tenants should be central to any changes to the private rented sector. Yet at the moment their voices are often absent in meaningful debate. We know that there is already a lot of work happening to strengthen tenants’ voice and we work to support this movement.

We support work which helps to build an understanding of life in the private rented sector, with a particular focus on people who are particularly vulnerable, disadvantaged or at risk of harm. As well as this, we fund a range of tenants’ voice projects across the country. They seek to amplify the views and experiences of tenants, as well as trying to achieve a positive and constructive tenant-landlord relationship.

To view funding allocated under this programme from 2016–present, click here.

See our available funding