Landmark law to improve safety for tenants
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21 December 2018
A new law has been passed that will help boost standards in rented homes and give tenants more powers to hold landlords accountable for unsafe accommodation.
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.
With the changes, mandatory licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has been extended and rules surrounding smoke and carbon monoxide monitors have been tightened.
Fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders for serious offenders have been introduced, giving local authorities more power.
The 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.
“This new law is a further step to ensure that tenants have the decent homes they deserve.”
Tenants now have the right to take legal action if landlords fail to meet the standards during the tenancy.
The government has also launched a national database of rogue landlords and agents to keep track of those that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation, introduced the requirement for all landlords to belong to a mandatory redress scheme and made five yearly electrical installation safety inspections mandatory.