Elevating Standards in the Private Rented Sector
The Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the release of its 2022-23 Annual Review, highlighting its commitment to improving standards in the private rented sector.
What are the goals of the TDS Charitable Foundation?
The Charitable Foundation operates primarily in England and Wales, while a sister charity, the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, carries out similar work to raise standards in the Scottish private rented sector.
Established with the goal of promoting knowledge, understanding and awareness within the private rented sector (PRS), the Foundation focuses on three specific objectives:
Promoting knowledge of landlords' obligations.
Promoting knowledge of tenants' rights and responsibilities.
Promoting alternative dispute resolution models.
In recent years, the Foundation has also begun to fund large-scale national research projects to help policy makers and practitioners make decisions based on reliable and accurate evidence.
New strategy for TDS Charitable Foundation funding
Previously, the Charitable Foundation funded projects through grant applications based on specified themes for the year. However, in 2022-23, the Trustees adopted a strategy to fund fewer projects but with a broader reach and more significant impact. The first projects under this new approach are set to commence in 2023/24.
"By funding fewer, impactful projects based on research and evidence, we are taking a strategic step toward enhancing standards and achieving more significant change in the private rented sector." Says Steve Harriott, CEO of TDS Group.
One of the Foundation's significant achievements in this period was to work with the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) on a major UK-wide research programme. The academic team included Dr Jennifer Harris, who is now Head of Policy, Research and Strategy at TDS. The TDS Charitable Foundation and the SafeDeposits Charitable Trust jointly funded CaCHE to conduct research on a range of issues related to improving standards in the sector. This research resulted in several reports, such as on alternative approaches to resolving housing disputes, understanding landlord behaviour, improving compliance with legislation, and more. These reports continue to inform policy and practice across the UK.
Voice of the tenant project
Additionally, the Foundation commissioned two “Voice of the Tenant” surveys in 2022-23 to improve understanding of tenants’ experiences and inform future projects to be funded by the Foundation. Because the survey will be repeated every six months, it will show how trends and experiences are changing over time, providing an invaluable data source for the sector.
Dr Jennifer Harris, Head of Policy, Research and Strategy comments:
"Through our Tenant Opinion Tracker surveys and innovative projects, we're not just raising standards by influencing policy and practice, we're listening to and addressing the needs and concerns of tenants, agents, and landlords in real time."
New projects for 2022-23
The Foundation has further announced its new projects in 2022-23, including guidance for landlords on minimum energy efficiency standards, funded from April 1, 2023. This project, led by the Centre for Sustainable Energy, aims to support and advise landlords regarding energy efficiency standards in rented properties.
Steve Harriott concludes:
"As we embark on new projects, we continue to promote sustainable practices and responsible renting in the private sector. I’m very proud of the TDS Charitable Foundation's commitment to raising standards in the private rented sector through research, education, and innovative projects. With our dedicated partners and trustees, we continue to drive positive change and ensure a better future for tenants, agents, and landlords."
The Charitable Foundation full report
For more information and a detailed breakdown of completed projects, initiatives, and financial details, please read the latest report in full here, or visit the TDS Charitable Foundation website for a complete digest of our projects to date.
About TDS Charitable Foundation
The TDS Charitable Foundation exists to raise standards in the private rented sector by promoting knowledge and awareness among tenants, agents, and landlords. The Foundation funds projects and initiatives that support this objective and collaborates with partners and stakeholders to drive positive change in the housing sector.