Landlords will have to refund rent if homes are not kept in good condition and fixed-term tenancies will be outlawed in major shakeup
- 4.4million families live in rented homes in England, a fifth of which are unfit
- Housing Secretary Michael Gove said fixed-term tenancies will be outlawed
- Will be illegal for landlords to ban renting to families with children or on benefits
Landlords will be forced to refund rent if they do not keep homes in an acceptable condition in what is thought to be the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years.
As part of the overhaul being announced today by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, fixed-term tenancies will be outlawed and replaced with open-ended agreements so renters will only have to move when there is a good reason.
Around 4.4million families live in private rented homes in England – but a fifth of the properties are deemed unfit.
Social housing standards will be extended to private rentals to stop people living in damp, unsafe and cold homes.
The Renters’ Reform Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech will also allow tenants to own a pet
A Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be appointed to settle disputes between renters and landlords, and tenants will be able to seek repayment of rent if the standard of their homes is unacceptable.
But there will also be measures to help responsible landlords gain possession of their properties from anti-social tenants.
It will become illegal for landlords to place blanket bans on renting to families with children or those on benefits, and an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions that let tenancies be terminated without reason.
The changes – including the right of tenants to keep a pet – are part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech.
Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said: ‘The Renters’ Reform Bill is a game-changer. The Bill cannot come soon enough.’