Private Rented Housing: Repairs and Maintenance

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 4th February 2016.

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Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigns Chair

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made on empowering tenants in the private rented sector to ensure landlords carry out reasonable repairs.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

On 1 February 2016 we issued a new Model Tenancy Agreement and updated our How to Rent Guide which makes clear landlord responsibilities in terms of carrying out repairs. The vast majority of landlords in the private rented sector provide good quality and well managed accommodation. We know that 84% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation, and stay in their homes for an average of 3 and a half years.

If a tenant feels that the property they are renting is unsafe, and the landlord fails to get the necessary repairs done, they should contact their local authority which has powers, under the Housing Act 2004, to assess the risks and hazards. If a property is found to contain serious (category 1) hazards, the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action, which could range from trying to deal with the problems informally at first to prohibiting the use of the whole or part of the dwelling.

The Housing and Planning Bill contains measures to tackle rogue landlords who rent out sub-standard accommodation. Proposals include a database of rogue landlords and property agents, introducing banning orders for serious or repeat offenders, a tougher fit and proper person test, extending Rent Repayment Orders and introducing civil penalties.

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