New law to ensure standards in rented accommodation

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A new law will ensure that private and social rented properties will meet certain safety standards throughout a tenancy, the Government has announced.

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, brought before Parliament by Minister for Housing Heather Wheeler, received Royal Assent in December.

The MP for South Derbyshire said the law will help to “boost standards in rented homes” and “give tenants more powers to hold their landlord to account”.

Under the new legislation, landlords must ensure their rented properties meet certain health and safety standards at the beginning and throughout a tenancy. If the standards fail to be met or maintained, tenants will receive the right to take legal action against their landlord.

Fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders have been introduced alongside the Bill as a deterrent for rogue landlords.

A banning order will stop landlords from renting out in the future, with potentially unlimited fines and prison sentences if these are breached.

The safety standards will include ensuring that working fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in place, as well as ensuring houses are not overcrowded and are fit for habitation.

Commenting on the report, Ms Wheeler said: “Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of whether you own your home or rent it.

“That’s why the 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.”

More information about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act can be found here.


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