The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced new help and protection for private tenants in England. The new measures include:
- A new housing hotline offering free help and advice for private tenants who need information about their rights.
- An online directory of landlords and message boards where tenants can rate landlords and post comments.
- A requirement that all tenancy agreements be in writing.
- Giving additional rights to short-term tenants in shared housing, including many students and seasonal workers.
- A National Register for Landlords to help tenants make basic checks on their prospective landlords. This will allow councils to more easily identify local landlords, enforce letting rules, and give registered landlords access to the latest advice and information on what they need to do to fulfil their responsibilities.
- Regulations to weed out rogue letting and property management agencies.
- Creating Local Letting Agencies, where councils and good landlords work together to help local people find better-quality homes in the private rented sector.
Housing Minister John Healey said:
"Over three million families live in private rented housing and while the majority of tenants say they're happy with their homes and landlords many do face problems and need better help and protection.
"Every tenant should be confident in their decision to rent as well as be clear what to expect before they sign on the dotted line. That's why I'm making information about the track record of landlords available to everyone and written tenancy agreements will mean all tenants are clear about their rights from the outset.
"And if things do go wrong a new housing hotline will mean tenants have somewhere to turn for help and advice.
"Moreover, creating Local Letting Agencies, where councils and good landlords work together, will help side-line the cowboys out there."
More information about the new measures, read Private Rented Sector: Professionalism & Quality: Consultation Responses & Next Steps.
** Additional information & advice about landlord-tenant law in England **