Innovation in Housing Advice in the UK Private Rented Sector

People living in the private rented sector face numerous challenges to accessing advice. Advice journeys are often protracted and complicated with problems escalating as primary needs remain unaddressed. The serious repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that advice is likely to play an increasingly important role in the prevention of homelessness.

This report explores examples of innovation in the provision of housing advice in the private rented sector. Methods include case studies and qualitative interviews with advice providers and their clients, and a review of key messages from existing legal needs research. The report shows that significant changes are needed to deliver improvements in the provision of advice to meet the needs of different clients and to maximise the use of technology. An improved advice and informational ecosystem for tenants that provides various options to resolve problems with tenancies will be key to raising standards in the sector.

Key themes addressed in the report include:

  • The access to advice problem faced by tenants and the challenges, developments, and opportunities associated with the shift to remote advice.
  • Examples of how advice services have innovated and adapted to recent challenges.
  • Key principles for designing and delivering services as part of an effective multi-channel approach.
  • How to improve access to advice for renters through a well-functioning system of self-help options, improved collaboration and partnership working, targeted support for vulnerable households and enhanced technological interfaces.

Author: Jennifer Harris





Date: March 29, 2021 10:00 am


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