If it becomes law, the Bill will allow tenants to take their landlords to court if they do not ensure their properties are fit for human habitation. This means that throughout the tenancy, landlords must ensure properties are free of hazards risking harm to the health and safety of the tenants and other occupants.
And if landlords fail to do so, tenants will have the right to take legal action for breach of contract. New powers under the Bill will allow tenants to seek an order of the court requiring the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard, and damages to compensate the tenant for having to live in a property not fit for human habitation.
The Bill builds on work the Conservative Government has already done to improve standards in the private rented sector. Several measures have been introduced since 2010, including allowing local councils to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe or substandard homes.
Legislation has also been introduced to protect private tenants against retaliatory eviction where they have a legitimate complaint. The Government has stopped landlords from serving an open-ended eviction notice at the start of the tenancy.
Rachel said: “I know how much this affects locals from the problems I see in my surgery. I also have children who are currently renting in the private sector and so I am aware of the issues tenants may face.
“Everyone deserves to live in a home which meets the required standards and is safe – that’s why I’m supporting this Bill to strengthen the rights of Redditch tenants and to protect them from rogue landlords.”