Housing minister calls for fairer private rented sector
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
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Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has called for the creation of a fairer and more flexible private rented sector, which will raise standards of property conditions and root out rogue landlords.
The minister urged landlords and tenants alike to come forward and offer their views on what more the government can do to improve the PRS.
Hopkins has asked for suggested solutions to problems such as:
- Tackling ‘retaliatory eviction’ where a minority of landlords evict their tenants in response to a request for repairs to the property.
- Requiring landlords to repay rent where they have let a property that contains serious hazards and/or have illegally evicted a tenant.
- The need for various safety measures in rented homes, such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and regular electrical checks.
Hopkins said: "Tenants have a right to live in homes that are safe. But the reputation of our private rented sector is being tarnished by a tiny minority of poor operators who flout the rules and offer substandard accommodation.
"Already we’ve provided over £6.5 million to councils to deal with the problem in their area - but I want to see what more we can do to root out rogue landlords, while ensuring good landlords who obey the rules are able to rent out their quality homes free from red tape."
The MP also pledged to address the “outdated and unworkable” laws that prevent London homeowners renting their properties out on short-term lets to tourists.
Currently, anyone wanting to rent out their home for less than three months has to seek planning permission, as this is considered a change of the property’s use.
During the 2012 Olympics, homeowners looking to rent out their properties to people coming to enjoy the Games found themselves foul of the law.
The law dates back over 40 years and only applies to properties in the capital - homeowners in the rest of the country are free to rent out their homes for as long or short a period as they wish.