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Private sector housing strategy 2022-2027

About the strategy

These are the key challenges for the Private Sector Housing team in Darlington.

It includes things we are going at the moment and things we will be doing. This will make sure living conditions continue to get better.

This strategy includes our housing vision:

“We aim to increase healthy home environments that maximises well-being and life opportunities for all residents and future residents in Darlington.”

National and local perspectives

Nationally, the private rented sector is the fastest-growing housing tenure type.

The sector has more than doubled in size over the last 15 years.

It now accounts for almost one-fifth of all dwellings in the UK.

We welcome the increasing contribution rented properties can make to meet local housing needs.

Standards need to reflect those expected in Darlington.

We need to manage these standards to make sure homes are fit for a future housing market.

Around 80 percent of Darlington’s 51,885 homes are in the private sector.

This equates to 43,589 dwellings.

This includes around 8,875 properties rented from a private landlord.

The strategy incorporates an action plan.

The plan will create the conditions for successful delivery of the strategy, including:

  • Supporting the most vulnerable.
  • Encouraging the transition to Net Zero.
  • Addressing health inequalities.
  • Communicating the progress and outcomes of our work to residents, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Understanding resource requirements and developing plans.
  • We will improve information and evidence held about the private rented sector to make sure our approach targets areas where it will be the most effective.
  • Adapting and growing the capabilities of the Private Sector Housing Team.


We have three key aims to help us to achieve our private sector housing ambition:

Reactive Housing Standards

  • The Private Sector Housing team work to make sure we maintain standards.
  • We will act where these standards are not met.
  • We provide a reactive response to complaints about poor property conditions.
  • By dealing with these issues, we reduce accidents and illness in the home.
  • This will help reduce health inequalities and improve life chances across Darlington.

Area based action

We will tackle health inequalities in communities where housing conditions are worst.

Inspecting Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

We administer the scheme for mandatory licensing of relevant HMOs.

Safeguarding residents living in HMOs through successful licensing and proactive property inspection.

Private rented property management

The private rented sector makes an important contribution to the borough's housing, provided it is well managed.

Empty properties

  • We will make the best use of all our homes.
  • We cannot allow homes to stay empty while housing is in short supply.
  • Increasing activity to bring long term empty homes back into use.

New homes

A growing population and changing lifestyles mean we need to provide more homes that are affordable for our residents.

The home must be in the right place, and of the right quality to meet future demand.

Green homes

  • We will explore and develop energy efficiency.
  • Energy efficiency is good for the borough, can save households money and make people healthier.
  • This helps us deliver warm home solutions to reduce fuel poverty.

Encourage and support owner occupiers to maintain safe homes

We will inform homeowners of available financial help.

Meeting the needs of residents living in park home sites and residential caravan sites, including the travelling community

We will improve the licensing conditions of existing licensed sites.

Private sector housing strategy [pdf document]

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