CaCHE publishes briefing papers on UK PRS data and compliance with deposit protection requirements

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) has published two new briefing papers as part of a wider piece of work supported by SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust and the TDS Charitable Foundation.

Coherent and robust statistics are key to understanding the private rented sector and the way in which it is changing. Whilst a wide range of statistics provide a considerable amount of information, there are still several gaps in what we know about the sector. In ‘UK Private Rented Sector Data’, authors Professor Scott Orford and Dr Jennifer Harris identify and provide a critical commentary of the main data sets which are available across the UK.

The briefing paper details 30 key data sets that could be used to estimate the size of the PRS in each jurisdiction and highlights important data gaps regarding a lack of information on landlord behaviour and a lack of disaggregated and granular geographical data.

Whilst there have been some encouraging developments, the paper argues there needs to be continued and sustained emphasis on the development of private rented sector data by UK government statistical agencies.

With protecting tenant deposits in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme mandatory across the UK, the second briefing paper identifies what information is currently available that could be used to assess compliance with deposit protection requirements.

Assessing Compliance with Deposit Protection Requirements argues that survey data cannot be directly compared with the deposit protection data to determine the scale of non-compliance. An estimate of the total number of deposits that need protecting is currently lacking.

Court and tribunal statistics, national registration schemes and HMRC data are alternative data sources that can be used to help assess compliance, the paper adds.

For Professor Orford and Dr Harris, the top priority for change would be to include a question about the nature of tenancies in the national housing surveys. This would allow for a more precise estimate of those that should be covered by the deposit.

Tags: CaCHE

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