New legislation to target rogue landlords

Landlords who fail to ensure rented homes are safe could face legal action from tenants under new government legislation.

The government has already introduced measures for local authorities to crack down on rogue landlords who rent unsafe and substandard housing.

From April 2018, councils around the UK can fine landlords up to £30,000 or issue them with banning orders to prevent them from working in the sector.

The government is also to back a Private Members' Bill, which is intended to ensure social and private tenants' safety.

The proposed bill, which is expected to have its second reading in parliament in January 2018, will give tenants the right to take legal action if their accommodation is unfit for habitation.

The bill includes the following measures to ensure:

  • all landlords make their properties fit for habitation throughout the tenancy agreement 
  • tenants can claim breach of contract on the grounds the property is unfit for habitation.

Sajid Javid, secretary of state for housing, said:

"Public safety is paramount and I am determined to do everything possible to protect tenants.

"That is why government will support new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties."

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