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Tenants to be given legal right to challenge landlords

Tenants will be given the right to take legal action against landlords who offer properties that are not ‘fit for human habitation’, the secretary of state for housing Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday.

The move follows a proposal put forward in the Commons by Labour MP, Karen Buck, designed to protect tenants in both the social and private rented sectors.

Where a landlord fails to meet their obligations, tenants will be permitted to take direct action and take their landlords to court.


Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. Councils already have wide-ranging powers to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

“However, public safety is paramount and I am determined to do everything possible to protect tenants. That is why government will support new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties.”

The government has already introduced a range of powers for local authorities enabling them to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe or substandard accommodation.

This includes being able to fine failing landlords up to £30,000 and from April this year councils will also be able to issue banning orders to kick the worst offenders out of the business. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    i do not see that as a problem, seems fair enough to me, many councils will find they have problems, the state of some of their properties.

  • James B

    So no legislation planned to help landlords with tenants that trash properties ? Why am I not surprised.
    Well hopefully soon the government will have exhausted every angle to kick landlords to win the tenant votes ..
    Well, just today’s bit of landlord bashing so nothing new !

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    This will be a disaster.

    I have wonderful long term tenants who never have problems except the odd repair as per my own house.
    I have useless tenants who won't even clean the property. They live in filth and don't care if they break things.

    Please do not delete this comment. It is very important. As a landlord it is totally unacceptable to have to pander to the second group apart from making repairs which are a danger to all. No argument there of course. As for filth, if they want hotel level cleaning done for them then they will need to pay hotel room rent. Idleitis comes at a cost! My properties don't just become dirty and unfit. Someone has to make them that way and that someone is not me.

    There is a third group and that is people who find life a little difficult whatever. It is only charitable to help then out but costs still have to be covered. If a landlord is going to look after social need people then a tax break would be very welcome (even necessary). Due there being so many taxes in the UK any business can soon find itself on the rocks if it gives money away.

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    The Council have these powers already. The problems is that tenants think condensation is the landlords problem and not the way they are living so if they allow this to get worse, then property the looks unfit. A good housing officer realises the majority balck mould is down to the tenant and will advise the tenant. If the tenant can just take a landlord to court, when they have caused the problem the courts with be full! There is the housing ACT of 2004 that covers all this so whats the problem?
    Bad tenants never had one, just several!

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    The courts will get fed up with all the stupid claims. Once again this can only put rents up if its allowed to go on!

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    Dare I say this?
    I suspect some courts will be stupid enough to believe stupid claims. In fact they may well have to believe them due to legal guidance they are given by the government.

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    A pity landlords don't get equal protection from nightmare tenants who don't pay rent and trash property.


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