The Association of Residential Letting Agents has thrown its weight behind a Private Members Bill which wants tenants to have the right to take legal action against landlords over the condition of property to let.
Letting Agent Today reported on Sunday that the government had taken the unusual step of backing the Private Members Bill put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability of Housing Standards) has its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday.
“ARLA Propertymark supports the Bill. If enacted, it would reinforce what the vast majority of landlords and professional letting agents are already doing. Where these standards are not being met, the Bill will allow tenants to take more effective and direct action” says ARLA’s chief executive David Cox.
The Bill states:
- that all landlords (both social and private sector) must ensure that their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout; and
- where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation.
As part of attempts to drive out rogue landlords and raise property conditions, the government has already introduced a range of powers for local authorities.
This April will see both the introduction of a database of rogue landlords and agents convicted of certain offences and banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders.