Government welcomes landmark law which will improve the safety of tenants

New law gives tenants the right to take legal action

A new law that will help to boost standards in rented homes and give tenants more powers to hold their landlord to account has been welcomed by Housing and Homelessness Minister, Heather Wheeler MP.

Under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, landlords of both social and privately rented properties must make sure that their properties meet certain standards at the beginning and throughout a tenancy.

If they fail to do this, tenants have the right to take legal action – making this a landmark moment for the rented sector.

The Private Members’ Bill, which received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018, supports ongoing government action to protect tenants and drive up standards in rented properties.

Heather Wheeler MP Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP said:

“Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of whether you own your home or rent it. That’s why government has introduced a range of measures to help ensure that people who are renting have good quality and well-maintained properties to call home.

“This new law is a further step to ensure that tenants have the decent homes they deserve.”

Government cracks down on rogue landlords and agents

The government has introduced a range of powers for local authorities to enable them to crack down on the small minority of rogue landlords and agents who let unfit properties.

This includes fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders – possibly for life – for the most serious offenders.

It has also extended mandatory licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to improve living conditions of tenants in shared homes and tightened up rules on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.