MILLIONS of renters could see their landlords forced to make improvements to their homes under new government proposals.
Ministers are considering introducing a Decent Homes Standard to the rented sector.
It would mean landlords would be legally bound to make sure their properties met a reasonable standard.
If introduced, landlords could be forced to keep their properties in a good state of repair with efficient heating, with suitable facilities, and free from serious hazards like major damp or fire risks.
The consultation will gather views from renters, landlords, councils and housing groups over the next six weeks.
It will also ask for views on how such measures should be enforced.
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Landlords must already make sure that your home is fit to live in under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act and tenants can sue for compensation of their home isn't up to scratch.
But the new Decent Homes Standard would make these requirements legally bending.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said the move comes as part of plans to halve the number of poor-quality homes by 2030.
There has been a decent homes standard in place in the social rented sector since 2001.
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Housing Secretary Greg Clark said: “I want to see a thriving private rented sector, but that does not mean that tenants should have to suffer homes that are not of decent standard.
“This consultation asks what the minimum standard for privately rented homes should be.”
In June, the Government released its Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, which outlined plans to reform the private rented sector and level up housing quality across the country.
As well as the new Decent Homes Standard in the rented sector, the paper included proposals to replace Section 21 “no fault” eviction notices and reforms “to empower tenants so they can make informed choices, raise concerns and challenge unfair rent hikes”.
Millions of social housing tenants could be also spared £300 a year under new government proposals to introduce a rent cap.
A hard limit on rent would prevent councils and housing associations from making cruel price hikes.
Gavin Smart, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “All renters should be able to live in decent, well-maintained homes.
“We look forward to seeing the details set out in the consultation and discussing the proposals with our members.”
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