Government offers ‘greater protection’ for tenants

Communities secretary Sajid Javid unveils plans to give private sector tenants greater rights.

Sajid_Javid_(cropped)

Javid unveiled new measures to force all landlords to join an ombudsman redress scheme, which would give renters more power to challenge rip-off fees and poor treatment.

The government will also bring in new laws requiring all letting agents to be registered, ending current rules that allow people to operate in the role without qualifications or professional oversight.

New incentives will be unveiled in the upcoming Budget to ensure landlords offer tenancies of at least 12 months, to provide greater security for tenants, Javid said.

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn used his flagship conference speech to promise a future Labour government would bring about a renting revolution, seeking reform of the housing market and rent controls to reduce soaring living costs.

Javid said: “For too long, tenants have felt unable to resolve the issues they’ve faced, be it insecure tenure, unfair letting agents’ fees or poor treatment by their landlord with little to no means of redress. We’re going to change that.

“We will insist that all landlords are part of a redress scheme and we will regulate letting agents who want to operate.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes and we will make sure they do.”

He also admitted ‘Tory failures’ on housing are putting Labour at reach of number 10.

He delivered an outspoken attack on his own party’s miserable housebuilding record, which he condemned as a “national outrage” for young people, and declared war on “Nimbys” who, he said, “will never accept development”.

Javid told the conference that, for his generation: “Home ownership was something that, if you worked hard enough, you could afford.

“Now, in every high street, you’ll see young people with their faces pressed against an estate agent’s window, trying, and failing, to find a home they can afford.

“The opportunity my generation took for granted now seems lost to many.

“This is a national outrage.

“And the biggest barrier to social progress in our country today. It’s no wonder that we see so many young people angry, feeling left behind. This is a clear injustice at the very heart of our society.

“For decades, our planning system has failed to plan for the number of homes we need.

“There has been too much control given to those who will never accept development.

“It’s a mark of our failure on housing that the Labour Party, a party led by Jeremy Corbyn, is being taken seriously again.”

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