Government announces plans to back tenants wanting to take legal action

Government announces plans to back tenants wanting to take legal action
Tenant power is the new people power, it seems, after the government announced last week (JAN 15) plans to back renters wanting to take legal action over poor property conditions.

The Private Members' Bill, logged as the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability of Housing Standards) Bill, was put forward by Labour's Karen Buck but is being supported by the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Landlords will need to be all over this, even if they back themselves over the standards of their properties, as the Bill could open a can of worms when it comes to 'difficult' tenants.

It proposes that:

- All landlords ensure their properties are fit for human habitation, both at the start of a tenancy and throughout.
- Where this is not done, the tenant will have the right to take said landlord to court for breach of contract.

Of course, the Housing Act 2004 already gives local authorities power to assess serious risks to the health and safety of tenants, with landlords forced to make changes should councils adjudge this to be the case. But the Homes Bill will take things one step further and is widely expected to be approved in parliament.

Meanwhile, research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) claims one in five landlords could be pondering scaling back on their buy to let portfolios in 2018. A housing market that has weakened, albeit only slightly, and the new legislation on tax relief have made buy to let less attractive according to the NLA.

However, according to Rightmove, the North West is bucking the trend to such an extent, the region is banking the highest rental yields and capital growth in the country. Asking prices in places like Manchester and Liverpool are up 2.4% at £187,134 according to Rightmove, boosting the annual change to a whopping 5.5%.

For more information on any of these updates and the latest buy to let news, get in touch with your local Martin & Co office.