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31 May 2013, 16:33
Reading Borough Council 's started a consultation looking at the housing issues which affect people the most.
Running until December, ‘Let’s Talk Housing’ will focus on talking to residents about strategies and policies that aim to improve the ways people are housed.
The Council wants to hear from home owners and tenants of both the private rented and social sector to decide the way services are delivered in the future.
‘Let’s Talk Housing’ begins with a detailed consultation on Reading’s Private Rented Sector.
Reading is unique within Berkshire. Latest figures showing more than one in four households in Reading are made up of private rented accommodation and is estimated to be home to 75% of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Berkshire.
There is growing evidence that poor management in certain parts of the sector is impacting on the quality of neighbourhoods.
New research released last week by housing charity Shelter, based on a survey of 4,000 renters, shows that one in nine renters says their health has been affected by their landlord failing to carry out repairs or deal with poor conditions in their home. Shelter is warning that a minority of rogue landlords who are failing to meet their responsibilities to keep their properties in a decent state of repair are putting renters and their families at risk.
Reading Borough Council is one of 61 local councils across England who have signed up to Shelter’s campaign, committing to do all they can to stamp out rogue landlords in their area.
With one in four households in Reading now living in the private rented sector, the Council is looking to ensure the health, safety and welfare of tenants are protected and that it takes a balanced approach to regulation and support of landlords.
Three separate questionnaires will be distributed over the coming weeks to residents, landlords and their agents and other stakeholders.
The questionnaires will also be available to fill in online and available at libraries, children’s and community centres etc as well as targeted at households and businesses in areas where there are particularly high levels of private rented accommodation.